Questions can lead thinking in all sorts of directions, especially ones that comes from, ‘Out of the Blue!’
Are you looking for something interesting and ‘out there’ to try with your students?
Write on the board or hold up a sign saying, ‘What happened?’
Try it after recess, lunch, first thing in the morning, whenever you feel like it.
Point to the words, don’t speak and indicate with your hands that you are waiting for some answers. The student’s responses will amaze and surprise you.
Of course there is no correct answer. The question has just come from, ‘Out of the Blue’.
The answers given are so varied because the students have no idea what you are wanting and come out with all sorts of interesting responses. The feedback can go in all directions. Try it – it’s really revealing!
Try an ‘Out of the Blue’ question without giving students any facial feedback, just passively say ‘thank you’, or do lots of head nodding and smiling or head shaking and frowning. A different response from you will send their responses in completely different directions. I end it by saying, ‘Thank you, I was just wondering!’
Ask the students what was that discussion all about, why do you think it was initiated? More interesting answers will be revealed.
The first time I tried an ‘Out of the Blue’ question was after lunch. I was keen to do something interesting and different.
The responses started with, ‘Well I didn’t really mean to do it, he pushed past me’.
‘Well it wasn’t my fault because…’ the conversation went on.
Apparently there was an incident in the playground and a few of the student’s thought that was why I had written up the question. I didn’t know about the incident. It was interesting that they were prepared to own up and talk about the issue.
I nodded, frowned, shrugged and pointed to the question again.
Next response – ‘I played with my friend on the playground and we had a good time.’
I smiled and nodded, pointed to the question again.
More positives comments about what happened during the lunch break.
Once the students realised I was accepting different responses lots of creative and funny ideas started. They started pulling ideas from ‘Out of the Blue’!
Use different ‘Out of the Blue’ questions.
Did you? – Great for first thing in the morning, generally leads to homework comments.
What do you think?
Did you see it?
Where were you?
When do you think it will happen?