SOS: Twenty Questions

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series  provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

 Twenty Questions


The game “20 Questions” is a widely known game that helps to encourage questioning and deductive reasoning. “The act of questioning actually has a physiological impact on the human brain. The neurons make more connections because of the body’s need to deal with a question.” (Leading With Questions, Michael Marquardt). Creating a questioning culture within the classroom helps to improve problem solving, develop self-confidence and foster individualized learning. This week’s strategy takes a spin on this traditional game as a way to help students think through and articulate questions they have about a unit or topic of study.


Explain to students that they will be learning about a new topic or unit of study, such as the causes of the Revolutionary War. Explain to students that it is their job to figure out why the colonists risked their lives to fight for independence from Britain.

  • Place images around the room such as:
  • Have students examine the images in small groups or individually. As they look at the images, students should begin to develop a list of questions they have about the Causes of the Revolutionary War. For example,
    • What role did the Boston Massacre play in leading to the Revolutionary War?
    • Why was George Washington willing to fight for independence?
  • As a whole group, come up with a list of 20 questions. Print the questions and place them in the room so students can refer back to them as they learn throughout the unit.


  • Select an images that matches your current curriculum.
  • Have students analyze the images to come up with questions.
  • Develop a list of “20 Questions” as a whole group.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.


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