Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Kids' Book of Questions

Here’s a quick little time filler I reach for over and over when I have just a few minutes of class time remaining with grades 2-5. I have even used it as a whole class lesson with 4th and 5th grade a time or two.  It is The Kids' Book of Questions by  Gregory Stock, Ph.D.  

I found this little book of over 200 questions at a book sale several years ago.  It generates silly, insightful, and thought provoking comments and discussions from students and is a great way to practice discussion rules too. The first time I opened its' pages and began to read a few random questions, I knew my students would be unable to resist the chance to share their thoughts and opinions!

As I previewed the book, I found a few questions I felt were more appropriate for one-on-one situations rather than a whole class setting (questions about adoption, being touched by an uncle, God and religion).  So, I wrote down the numbers of every question I thought was appropriate for the classroom or group setting on small 1 inch by 1 inch squares of paper.  I put the squares in a small tub and was ready for class.  I allowed the student(s)with the birthday closest to the day I was playing the "Question Game" to choose a number from the tub.  The student would read the number chosen and I would read the corresponding question to the class and let the student who chose the question answer first.  Hands start shooting up all over the room, others blurt out in excitement, all eager to share their thoughts.

Sample questions include:  
"Would you rather have a strict teacher who was fair and taught you a lot or one who was relaxed and fun and didn't teach you very much?" 
"When you make a mistake do you make up excuses?  If so, do you think people believe you?"
"If you woke up tomorrow and by magic were already grown-up and had kids of your own, how would you treat them differently than your parents treat you?"
"If you were to be granted any one magical power you wanted, what would you pick?"
"When did you get yourself in the biggest mess by telling a lie? What do you think would have happened if you just told the truth?"
"Make believe right now you have to pick the job you will have as an adult. What is the best job you can think of?  What is the worst?"
"Have you ever farted and blamed someone else?"

As you can see there are questions of every type from serious to silly to questions involving values and ideas about the future.  Students love the "Question Game" and you will love the way it gets them thinking and talking and sharing!

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