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Costa's Levels of Questions at Levels 2 and 3 move you to ask beyond factual questions to those with deeper meaning.
Costa’s levels of questions basically distinguish whether or not a question is surface level thinking or not. In Level 1, you are in the basic factual and comprehension level and nothing is really interesting. In Level 2 and Level 3, you are really getting more into the important questions.
Level 2 really focuses more on causes and effects, inferences, conflicts, themes, relationships, and evidence. Level 3 takes this one step further and focuses on predictions and applications of what you have learned, such as making a hypothesis.
Level 2 Questions
Compare Scout to Jem. This question focuses on the similarities and differences between the two of them. Compare and contrast is a common Level 2 question. You can also compare Maycomb to your town, or compare yourself to Scout.
Why is it so important to Scout, Jem and Dill to make Boo Radley come out? This question requires you to put yourself in their shoes, thus comparing yourself to them. You are also analyzing the book.
Examine the relationship between Jem and Scout and their father. This question makes you describe in detail what the relationship is like, which is very important to the book as a whole, and developing an understanding of Scout and Atticus.
What conclusions can you draw from the fact that laughter was heard coming from the Radley house? This question makes the reader make inferences about what really is going on with Boo Radley.
Through all the head-shaking, quelling of nausea and Jem-yelling, I had heard another sound, so low I could not have heard it from the sidewalk. Someone inside the house was laughing. (Ch. 4)
Who do you think was laughing? Are they laughing at Scout? Why? What does it mean? Does it mean that Boo Radley is a good-natured player of the game after all?
Why did Harper Lee choose to have Scout as narrator? Why have a child, especially one so young and unreliable?
Why do Dill’s parents send him to Maycomb? This is always an interesting discussion question. Granted, we know little about Dill, but enough to make inferences and discuss parent-child relationships in the novel as a whole.
What important information is learned from Scout’s school experiences, and why are these included? The reader learns so much from these. We are an outsider, and we learn about Scout, but also about Maycomb.
What does it mean when Walter Cunningham won’t accept the quarter? What does this tell you about class relationships in Maycomb? This is a fascinating question.
What would you have done in Scout’s place during the incidents at school? Consider the data:
"Jean Louise, I've had about enough of you this morning," she said. "You're starting off on the wrong foot in every way, my dear. Hold out your hand." (Ch. 2)
What kind of a parent do you think Atticus is? Discussing Atticus’s parenting style is always fun, although it is more fun later when you have more data.
Level 3 Question
If the children were able to get Boo Radley to come out, what would happen?
They are desperate to get this to happen, but do they really understand what is going on? Is this a childish game, or something more? Who really is Boo Radley? Oh, what a loaded question this is!
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