Good questions are the backbone of every classroom. They initiate the best conversations and are mandatory for fruitful investigations, both scientific and artistic.
I remember the simply revalation I had from asking a student, “Can you tell me more about that?” and having them pause a moment and then really think about what they had just said. The first time they spoke was almost out of the social pressure to participate in class, but the second time was more personal, closer to what their actual thoughts on the topic were. I realized that a simple follow-up question like, “So what will you do next time?” can yeild a more bountiful harvest from the feild of your student’s thought.
I was searching for good conversation questions when I came across a short list from a publication of the Positive Parenting Connection. The questions are meant for parents to ask children, but hey, in loco parentis. While I can’t vouch for the content or philosophical leaning of the group, they do provide a few interesting questions that can be the basis of the next conversation or writing activity in your classroom. Some of my favorites are:
- If the story of YOU became a movie, how would the movie end?
- How would you describe a perfect day for you?
- If you could do something just like your friend (use name of friend) what would you do?
- If you could do something like your Dad/Mom do, what would you want to be able to do?
- If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?
- What is your biggest dream?
- What is your biggest worry?
- If you could change your name, would you want to and what name would you choose instead?
- What are you proudest of in your life?
- Is there anything you have always wanted to ask me but didn’t? Do you want to ask me now?
What are some of the questions you use in class to draw more out of your students?