Simple Q&A

It’s always nice to have a new face in the classroom – it generates genuine interest and instant questions from students. I invited my colleague Paula to be a part of my Elementary teen class and the students really enjoyed questioning her for a full 80 minutes.

Here’s how to set it up…

  1. Don’t give anything away!

Don’t even tell the students your guest’s name. Explain that this is a visitor and the students have to find out as much as they can by writing questions on the board. You can add a bit of competition by dividing the class into teams. The group with the most grammatically correct questions wins this round.

Give the students five minutes and see what they come up with…

2. Let the guest answer

The students came up with, understandably, pretty predictable questions, but all good practice for elementary students. Correct questions were answered and I encouraged students to ask follow-up questions if they wanted to.

DSC_0475

The students made notes of the answers and then focused on what was wrong with any incorrect questions…

3. Round Two

Once the students have made a note of answers, clean the board and elicit some more complex question starters. This group came up with…

When / where / how / why did you… 

and

Have you ever…

I gave students another 5-10 minutes to write questions on the board in teams. This time we had more interesting questions like… when did you have your first kiss?… and What was your first mistake?DSC_0479

We finished this round off the same way, by the students making notes of the guest’s answers and working together to correct any mistakes.

4. Final Q&A

This was a chance for the students to expand on any questions and for the guest to ask questions back to them. It turned into a really authentic conversation, with both sides finding out about each other.

A no-prep class with a genuinely interesting focus and lots of production – great!

Alternative:

If you don’t have a real live human being that you can bring in then why not put up a picture of someone you know a lot about. The class works in the same way, with you answering on their behalf. Any questions you can’t answer you can send on to the guest and have them answer next class.

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