Generating Questions

Techniques shared at Trinity Teachmeet 22/01/15.

Silent Questions
An old one but a good one.
1) Provide students with a stimulus. (A picture, piece of text, music.)

2) In silence (I know, the name was a clue) students write down any questions that they can think of based on this.
Note: I prefer this with pictures/text printed on a separate sheet with space for students to write around the outside.

3) At this point you can either…
i. Share questions. (Partner/Group/Class.)
ii) Try to get others to answer each students questions. (Pair or as a carousel; if you use carousel get students to initial responses.)
iii) Set the student the challenge of finding these out by the end of the lesson. (Use unanswered questions as a possible plenary activity or allow them to do option ii above later in the lesson.)

Question Plenary
It’s as simple as it sounds. At the end of the lesson students write down any question they would like answered and the class attempts, with your help, to do so. These questions can be anonymous or you could offer a reward for the most interesting/difficult question asked. This technique is particularly good for students identifying what they don’t understand once they become more confident with it.

Stupid Question Time
One of the two teaching methods I use inspired by Southpark (which I do not endorse in any way.) This somewhat surreal method is purely to get students to feel confident to ask questions; no content learning, just behavioural conditioning.

Give students five minutes to ask any questions they like about anything they like (good taste and appropriateness being obvious caveats; so no One Direction questions.)

The class then try to answer the mad, random and inane questions.

I ONLY use this with quiet classes who are nervous about asking the wrong question to get them to feel comfortable with making mistakes generating questions. If you’ve got a class that asks lots of random stuff don’t let them loose with this;)

Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE



  1. gwenelope · January 21, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.


  2. ibieler · January 24, 2015

    Reblogged this on teaching knowledge and creativity.


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