After teaching a lesson on creating questions from subtopics, I realized that students wanted more time to share with each other and were also able to come up with more questions when they had a chance to do so. Therefore, I added this lesson to give students an opportunity to share and support each other in developing questions for their research project.
I start by explaining to students what I had noticed about the day before. They were able to come up with a few great questions but seemed to have difficulty thinking beyond that. Sometimes we have a "box" that we're stuck in because of our past learning or experiences. However, other people have had different experiences that may help us think about our topic in a way we didn't consider.
In this lesson, they will have the opportunity to hear about another student's topic and then help them by providing questions for their report.
I model this by using a general topic that I thought students would have many experiences about. I chose our city as the topic. A few students are selected to share questions that they would answer in their report about our city. Some students want to talk about the water and the fun things to do there. Some students wanted to talk about places to live and others wanted to talk about the things kids do, etc. I point out that we were able to come up with so many different ideas because the students in our class have different experiences with our city.
Different experiences help us collect diverse ways of focusing our research.
After I my demonstration, students were to work with each other and provide questions using their own interests and experiences. I pair students up and ask one student to start with a subtopic that had the fewest questions and ask their partner to share. They should be taking notes on the questions or type of questions their partner is asking. These questions will help them research later.
Students then work together until both partners have questions added to the list they started in the previous lesson.
After they worked together, I ask students to share their favorite questions provided by their peer that they thought was really interesting and probably wouldn't have thought of themselves.
This helps students think outside of the box and focus on their audience.