This week, I’ve tried having the students ask questions as their warmup. In the absence of a projector (okay, I have a projector, about 12 feet up, but no way to connect to it…) I have printed off one page with 2 pictures from 101questions.
The directive is to pick one of the pictures, and write as many questions as possible about that picture. We have gone from “Huh?’ to crumby questions (who made that? where is that?) – by which I mean googleable. And we have had some good questions: “Why is the (Pearl river) bridge that shape?” “What weight is each of the (Mars Rover) tires?” I have one paper on each table, in a page protector,and the group is encouraged to share their questions. I then ask each table for their best question for the group. I am pretty pleased at the participation level.
Next step: write one interesting (not googleable) question, and tell me what you would need to know or be able to do in order to figure out the answer. I haven’t decided whether to give them new pictures or recycle the old ones: I think I will use new pictures – I can always go back again.
Meanwhile, I met with the MiTEP teacher group, who let me in even though I never get to teach science. And now I have another way to teach question-asking. Make a set of “presents,” and have the students ask questions to try and figure out what is in each box. Not including “what’s in the box?” Then they can answer “how heavy?” “how big?” “does it rattle?” The teacher who uses this has also cut a small flap in the box, so that students can feel what is in the box.
Isn’t it interesting that we try to create inquiring minds,but we never teach student how to ask questions that can be answered by reasoning?
I blame the lack of logic.