I wasn't quite ready to jump into a Unit of Inquiry yet so I thought I would spend some time practicing formulating questions. The class was excited to hear that they would be the ones coming up with questions throughout the year , but they weren't quite sure how to go about it. We started off by brainstorming some "question words." Once they got the hang of it, they came up with all kinds.
I gave groups slips of paper and they madly scribbled away their questions about ice cream...while I milled about and dreamed of eating ice cream......actually I could go for some right now.
Anyway, we gathered all our questions together and I put them on either the THICK side of the chart paper, or the THIN side. After I read a question, I spoke about how I could possible find out the answer....some I just answered very quickly and stuck them on the THIN side. Every once in a while, I would allow the students to Think-Pair-Share about why I was putting some questions on one side and some on the other. Natasha once told me this sort of thing encourages concept attainment.
" Thick questions need a lot of work to answer. There are many answers. Thin questions a fast and easy to answer."
Although I told them that both thin and thick questions are great, THICK questions help us find out the most. I will soon see if this lesson sunk in when I have them formulate questions for UOI tomorrow. After this though, I can't help but feel optimistic that they have a new skill under their belts already.