Opportunities to ponder and frame questions in the classroom

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 6.28.57 pmIn one of my university classes, we played a game of ‘Hot Potato’ as a means for gathering each others’ responses to questions that we had from the readings. This involved writing down an inquiry question we had been pondering, something we hadn’t fully understood or simply wanted others’ views on, passing the question to your left. You keep passing questions around until everyone has had a chance to leave a comment or elaborate. Afterwards, each student underlines 1 or 2 responses to their question that they really liked and reads them back to the class.

This could be easily adapted for a primary classroom, especially for Stage 3. For one example, it could be undertaken in the context of a book or story, to ponder why characters and protagonists acted the way they did.

In the same sort of vein, I have heard of having class ‘Wonder Walls’ for students to add open questions they have as they arise. The idea here is especially in recognising that the teacher may not have all the answers, and some questions benefit from deeper thinking. The questions can be followed up and explored as part of an inquiry curriculum. The Wall could be used to ponder questions about a subject area you might be teaching at the time and is a good space to place ‘I wonder…’ questions.

And with that I leave you with some theme music…

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