A great question is a springboard into a fascinating discussion. Phrase it the right way and students will start thinking. Then they'll start talking. Then you won't be able to get them to stop!
Great questions can make the difference between a good learning activity and a great one.
It can also make the difference between classroom technology that's just so-so and game-changing tech use.
Want to get students talking? In this post, you'll see some really juicy questions shared by educators on Twitter that they use with their students.
Here are some ideas for creating juicy questions of your own:
- Student interests: Is there an app they're excited about? A song? A YouTuber? Can you phrase the question through that?
- Audio, images, and video: Is there an audio clip you can play for students? A provocative image? A short video that will spark discussion?
- Would you rather: Can students choose between two options -- especially if it's a difficult decision?
- Summarize: Can they boil down an idea into one sentence? One word?
- Lists: Can students formulate a list (top 3, top 5, top 10) based on certain criteria? Can they justify what made the list -- and what didn't?
- Fantasize: What could the world look like? What could class look like? What could the material you're studying look like?
- Life's mysteries: What's a question that doesn't have a clear answer that could be argued either way?
1. What magical creature would make the world a better place if it existed?
Which magical creature would make the world a better place if it existed?— Mr. Harris (@TheMrHarrisJ) October 16, 2020
2. How could you sum up this lesson in a TikTok?
#Ditchbook A1: I might say, “so I was playing...... and this happened. How could I have avoided that?” Or, “how would you sum up this lesson in a tik tok?” Just some initial thoughts.....— David Platt (@herrplatt) October 16, 2020
3. Is water wet?
A1: Totally missed the chat but have to chime in on this. My kids debate like crazy over the question, "is water wet". I do whatever I can to avoid saying the word "water". #ditchbook— Mrs. Beguin (@MrsBeguin) October 18, 2020
4. If you had to give up one of your five senses, which one and why?
Today we talked about if you had to give up one of your five senses, which one and why? Great discussions in all classes.— Julie (@Julie54461) October 16, 2020
5. Should students be able to pick their teacher?
A1: Should students be able to pick their teacher? My students enjoyed that question, which echoes others on here saying that anything that gives them a voice. #ditchbook— Amanda Pasley (@ampazley) October 16, 2020
6. Is a hotdog a sandwich?
A1: Is a hotdog a sandwich? I couldn't get them to STOP talking! Pineapple on pizza. Yes or no? is another one that gets strong reactions.— Lisa McLeod (@lisakmcleod) October 16, 2020
7. Are you doing what it takes to get what you want in life? Why or why not?
Are you doing what it takes to get what you want in life? Why or why not?— Canji Rhodes (@canji_w) October 19, 2020
8. Who REALLY is the strongest avenger?
A1 Juicy questions to get Ss talking in class:— Lᴀᴜʀᴀ Sᴛᴇɪɴʙʀɪɴᴋ #RockNTheBoat (@SteinbrinkLaura) October 16, 2020
*Who really is the strongest Avenger? (pop culture related)
*Who won last night? (personal lives)
*Or one of @MathDenisNJ
impossible to answer questions#DitchBook
9. What is your favorite___and why?
A1 What’s your favorite ____ and why? Learn about students and give them space to chat it up about something they love. #DitchBook— Knikole Taylor (@knikole) October 16, 2020
10. The Zombie apocalypse has started... your two best friends are being chased. Who do you save?
A1: The Zombie Apocalypse has started...your two best friends are being chased...who do you save? 😲😬 #ditchbook There are no wrong answers but only maybe some hurt feelings 😂 Choice questions rock! https://t.co/fRxnFs7CLy— James Varlack 🇬 (@jamesvarlack) October 16, 2020
11. Would you rather fly or be invisible?
A1: In morning meeting I asked my Ss if they’d rather fly or be invisible. They had an in-depth 10 minute discussion- virtually! #ditchbook— Amanda Gonzales (@Mrs_Gonzales5th) October 16, 2020
12. Whose voice is missing from this (book, article, video, story, image...)?
A1: Here's my juicy question to get students talking and thinking 🗣 "Who's voice is missing from this .... book, article, video, story, image, textbook, news report, issue, event, lecture, conversation, audience .... etc. etc?" #ditchbook @DitchThatTxtbk https://t.co/wcFV5VXPdm— Julie Millan (@jsm2272) October 16, 2020
13. What is your favorite smell?
A1: Getting to know you questions on Jamboard as a brain break always gets students talking. Today I asked my Seniors what their favorite smell was and I got several unique answers. #ditchbook— Cody McNeely (@CodyMcneely1) October 16, 2020
14. How does something get to be "trending"?
A1: how does something get to be "trending"? #ditchbook https://t.co/XVqjYswyFM— Erin (Giblin) Kiger (@EBGtech) October 16, 2020
15. What would you ask (character in a book)?
A1: I asked my Ss what they would ask a character in our book. I got some really good answers. #ditchbook— Howard K. Kiyuna (@HowardKiyuna) October 16, 2020
16. What type of candy is better? Sweet or salty?
A1 Which type of candy is better? Sweet or salty? Most people have an opinion and something as contentious as which candy is best will 100% break the ice.— Garrett James (@Garrett_James_) October 16, 2020
17. If you could go on a road trip with anyone in history, who would it be?
If could go on a roadtrip with anyone in history ever, who would it be? #geokswanson #PSTPLN #ci5307— Miguel Fernandes (@abracadabra1998) October 16, 2020
18. How could you use (Instagram, Twitter, Google Slides, paint, Play-doh, Lego, Among Us...) to show your learning?
A1- “How could you use ______ to show your learning?” the question seems to change a little from year to year. This year’s blank has been TikTok so far, but I saw teachers discussing Among Us last night and I’m interested. #ditchbook— Mr. Eash (@Mr_Eash) October 16, 2020
19. Which is better... Minecraft or Roblox?
Q1- I asked my students the other day which is better.. Minecraft or Roblox? This got them going for WAY too long... 🤦🏼♀️🗣🤣 #ditchbook— Jordan Mooney (@msmooneyPE) October 16, 2020
20. Can you explain a boring fact about yourself in an interesting way?
I aske students to describe a boring fact about themselves in an interesting way. “I can blink bi-hemispherically” was one of the fun responses.— Mr. Carr on the Web (@MrCarrOnTheWeb) October 16, 2020
For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:
Are you looking for quality, meaningful professional learning that both equips and inspires teachers?
Matt provides in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops and breakout sessions that equip, inspire and encourage teachers to create change in their classrooms. Teachers leave with loads of resources. They participate. They laugh. They see tech use and teaching in a new light. Click the link below to contact us and learn how you can bring Matt to your school or district!
Is Matt presenting near you soon? Check out his upcoming live events!
So many options & choices…I liked the virtual Field Trip Journal so students can explore online (safe from COVID) & find a relevant site about pollution to connect with Ch 15.
These are so child centric juicy questions..kids love them..this actually builds studnent and teacher relationship as well.
I love these questions except that one with “your favorite whatever”. It never works with my students. I prefer not to ask any questions about personal life. Not all students love speaking freely about themselves.
I like to talk to students about different topics. When you give a class remotely it’s incredibly important to make students engaged. Interesting questions. I’d probably be most interested in their answers to question 17. Thank you!
Fantastic questions, provoking. Thank you. It is really helpful.