Although we want students to know the answers to content knowledge questions, we also want them to be able to generate and ask their own questions. In fact, asking questions is arguably as important, if not more so, as having memorized answers. Questions are at the heart of curiosity, and they can drive inquiry, exploration, and new discovery. While generating questions is a key part of the first step in the ANSWERS inquiry process, it can be embedded into nearly any lesson. The following resources can be used when helping students generate their own questions.
Online Resources to Help Generate Questions
Digital Tools to Capture Student Ideas
If you choose to engage in the inquiry learning model or project-based learning, your students will be asking questions continually to drive the learning process. If you choose another learning design, you can still infuse question-asking. One powerful place to have students generate questions is at the beginning of a lesson or unit of study. Present something to get them thinking, and then have them generate questions prompted by that stimulus. The question-generation templates offered in this Ed Tip can be helpful to structure these activities and provide students with a place to record their ideas. In addition to beginning a learning experience with questions, it can also be powerful to stop midway and have students generate questions prompted by their learning to that point. You can also end a lesson by asking students what they think comes next or what questions they still have that could prompt further learning.
How can I learn more?
For more information about this topic, explore the AVID Open Access article, Spark Curiosity and Ask Questions for Inquiry Learning: Step 1 of the Searching for ANSWERS Inquiry Process.