Asking Questions

As part of our upcoming unit about The Past students are learning the Research Skill of question asking. To do this students have a question word wall and we have started whole group question asking extravaganzas using the artifacts you sent in as provocations.

Although some students already know what the artifact is called and what it is used for, we only focused on asking questions about the objects in front of us.

As a whole class we first asked questions about an old style film projector. We famed our questions using the question words: do, who, what, when, where, how, can, are, is, and did. We recorded all of our questions without even seeking answers.

Then, each students got a partner and together they looked at an old style telephone. With their partner they used the question word wall to write the questions they had about that artifact. Students questions about the telephone included, “What’s the phone number?”, “What are the numbers for?”, “Why is there a bell sticker on it?”.

Using other artifacts students brought in we will continue to provoke our wonderings. We will then attempt to find some answers to understand the artifacts we have and make the connection to the past.

The old film projector replica used a provocation for our first round of question asking

All the questions students formulated about the film projector

Students wrote their questions about the old phone on a post it. Most students were excited to write more than one question!

R. with her question. As we practice question asking we will also practice sentence structure and how to properly form our questions

T. wants to know, “Why is it black?”

K. using the word wall to write his question



Today’s focus during writing workshop was asking questions about others’ writing. This allowed the audience to practice question formulation and for our authors to think deeply about the choices they made when writing and what they will do next.

Students questioned M. in the photo below and asked things like, “Why did you put Y. as a fairy?”, “What do the bad guys want?”, and “Do the bad guys want to take the magic?”.

This prompting allowed for a rich conversation in which we found out that M. actually modelled her writing on true events! Her and Y. love to play magic fairies during play time. M. pointed out that this was a connection- when reading her story it was connected to something that happened in real life!


Students questioning M. about her story. They were anxious to know, “What do they bad guys want?!”. We didnt let her answer and told them we’d have to find out when she writes the next page!

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