Actively Involve Students with Question Making

We have been focusing a lot lately on our Animal Classification Unit. I’m always surprised how much the students know about the vertebrate group but how little they know about the invertebrates! Once before, I wrote about actively involving my students with asking questions related to science. This time, I wanted to mix things up. I thought I’d let them be the teacher.

Every teacher wants to actively involve students in lessons and activities, but sometimes that idea gets lost in translation. This activity that allows students to make the questions is a sure-fire way to actively involve them and get them engaged in learning! Read how I did this in my own classroom in this post.

Yes, you read that right. But not “the-stand-at-the-front-of-the-room-and-teach” teacher. I mean, I wanted them actively involved, but not like that. Instead, I brainstormed how I could get them involved and excited to read the text. That’s when I decided I would let them create the questions!

I paired students up and provided them with different reading passages. Sometimes I provided them with nonfiction reading passages about invertebrates and the various groups. Other times, I provided them with passages about the classes of the vertebrates. Then, I provided each student with a piece of paper and six sticky notes. They had to read the passage first all the way through before they could come up with any questions. Then, they had to read it again and come up with a question that could be answered by using the text. I wanted students to practice text-dependent questions.

On the top portion of the sticky note, they wrote their question. Underneath, they wrote the answer. When their partner was done, they switched reading passages and papers. They read the passage and then, on the sticky note, tried to answer the question. When they were done, they lifted the sticky note to see if they were correct. If they disagreed with the answer provided, they just had to justify why and prove their answer.

The students had lots of fun and (without realizing it!) learned a thing or two also!

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