Yesterday, we looked at this text-based question for students to answer from the poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost: When does this event take place? We argued for text-based responses rather than text-based answers, suggesting that answers are more explicit while responses require interpretations of implied meaning. For example, if instead of the question above, a teacher said, “Look closely at the line, The darkest evening of the year. If Robert Frost meant this line literally, when does it take place? What if he meant it figuratively? What might it mean? How does such an interpretation change the poem?” This deeper question could launch a conversation about the word “dark.” When we use the word “dark”, what do we mean? Is Robert Frost merely trying to establish the setting? Or, does the subject of the poem feel evil, sad, or desolate? And does thinking about this line return us to earlier lines in this poem such as “His house is in the village though” or” He will not see me stopping here?” Does thinking about how these things may be connected influence the theories, opinions, or ideas a reader develops about what the subject of the poem is experiencing? Unlike the first question, which seems to elicit a single answer, this line of questioning requires deep thought and reflection. There are numerous possibilities for rich and rigorous conversation. It does not elicit an answer, it elicits a response. As you are working with texts and planning for instruction, you are probably thinking even more deeply about the questions you write for students. Try looking at each question and identifying whether it calls for an answer or a response. How can you expand answer-questions so that they make room for student, text-based responses? We suggest you pose these response-questions to students in a Think-Pair-Share format. How does the combination of format and question-type affect your students’ thinking and your classroom conversation? This week we are exploring the issues surrounding asking questions that help students unlearn the habit of cursory reading and in turn, habituate ways of thinking that yield deep understandings, which inspire new ideas and new thinking about the world. What differences do you see between “answering” and “responding” to questions? And what questions do you have about asking text-based questions?