How to teach your students to answer open-ended questions, implementing Question Cube in your classroom?
Question Cube is an interactive instructional strategy aimed at fostering open-ended questioning, critical thinking, and content exploration. It encourages students to formulate questions beginning with who, what, when, where, why, and how. This instructional strategy enhances both content-related discussions and language skills across different subjects.
Familiarise yourself with the learning objective and content you want to explore using open-ended questions. Decide whether students will create paper cubes with question words or use numbered dice representing each question word. Choose a topic, reading passage, or prompt that aligns with the curriculum and is suitable for in-depth exploration.
Introduce Question Cube to the students, explaining that it is a tool to stimulate thoughtful discussions and encourage deeper content exploration. Walk students through the process of creating a Question Cube and using it to formulate questions. For example, if the topic is "World War II," demonstrate how to generate open-ended questions like "Why did World War II start?" or "How did World War II impact different countries?"
Instruct students to make their own paper cubes or dice. Each side should have one of the question words (who, what, when, where, why, how). Provide step-by-step instructions for creating the cubes. Offer assistance to students who may need help.
Introduce the topic, reading passage, or prompt that you've chosen for the activity. In a small-group or whole-class setting, have students take turns rolling the cube. The question word facing up will guide the type of question they need to formulate. Each student, based on the question word they rolled, asks a question related to the topic. For instance, if the question word is "where," a student might ask, "Where did the events of World War II take place?" Encourage students to take turns answering the questions posed by their classmates. This fosters content-related discussions and allows students to share their knowledge and perspectives. If you're using small groups, ensure each group has one Question Cube. Instruct group members to take turns responding to the question posed by the cube before passing it to the next classmate. This promotes active participation and diverse viewpoints.
Once everyone has had a chance to roll the cube and ask a question, conclude the activity by summarising key insights or takeaways from the discussions. Facilitate a brief reflection session where students share what they learned or found interesting during the activity. Observe the quality of questions posed, the depth of discussions, and students' engagement in the activity. Gather insights from the discussions to assess students' grasp of the content, critical thinking skills, and ability to formulate open-ended questions.
Question Cube is an engaging instructional strategy that cultivates open-ended questioning, critical thinking, and content exploration. By allowing students to create and use their own cubes, or even simple dice, teachers can promote discussions that foster connections with the content. This approach can be seamlessly integrated into various subjects, promoting in-depth discussions, application of critical thinking, and enhancement of language skills. Insights gained from discussions guide further instruction and provide valuable feedback on students' comprehension and engagement.