Spotlight On Strategies: Change It Up! The Question Is

Welcome to a special SOS Top Ten series called Change It Up. 

For years you’ve told us the best part of the SOS is their adaptability for use across grade levels and content areas. In this series, we favorite Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) instructional ideas and share ways to adjust or adapt for your classroom.

We’d love to know what your favorite adaptations are; visit the DEN Online Community to share more ideas!


Change It Up:

Strategy: The Question Is (CDN Version)

Big idea: Reversing the common order of question-and-answer, students respond to a teacher-provided answer about a topic with questions that could prompt that answer.


In language arts….

…help students gain insight into character traits by using them as the answer prompts. Students then examine different characters from the text and provide questions that connect a character to the provided trait.  For example:

  • Answer: crafty and scheming    Question: Who is the Big Bad Wolf?
  • Answer: caring and innocent   Question: Who is Little Red Riding Hood?

…encourage critical thinking by providing an answer statement that is a synthesis of information. Require students to not only provide a related question, but also a reference to evidence from the text that demonstrates the concept.


In mathematics….

…provide students with a number of the day as the answer. Ask them to generate a variety of different questions relate to that number. 

…provide students with a term related to current unit of study. Require students to provide questions that are related in addition to sketches or drawings that help explain the concept.


In any subject…

…ask students to record on sticky notes the topics that are important in the current unit of study. Have them trade stickies with one another and then add questions that relate to those topics.

…have students quiz one another using this strategy. After gathering in pairs, ask one student to generate an answer and the other to provide a question related to that answer.  

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