Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.
Leave a comment and let us know how you’ll use this strategy in your class.
Have an idea for a strategy? Share it with us by completing this form and we’ll feature you!
Providing students an opportunity to think critically and ask higher–level questions of each other in a fun environment leads to a more engaged classroom. “When students formulate questions, they become actively involved in learning.” (Marzano) Using Hot Potato while posing questions pertaining to a Discovery Education resource makes this difficult skill more engaging and less threatening. Students play in teams and use a soft ball to bounce questions back and forth while earning points based on the level of complexity.
Materials: Discovery Education video, image or text resource, index cards, Bloom’s/Webb’s questioning grid, index cards, soft ball
- Select a Discovery Education video resource pertinent to the unit of instruction.
- Have students watch, look at, or read the resource, as a class or in small groups.
- Divide the class into 2 teams.
- Students have 5 minutes to create questions pertaining to the video. The higher–level the questions they have, the more points their team can earn. (Have them use the questioning chart to help develop higher–level questions.)
- Have students sit on their desks.
- Instruct them to have a team member throw the soft ball to the opposing team as he or she asks the question and states the question level.
- The student who catches the ball either answers or uses a lifeline (asks a buddy). The student who threw the ball determines whether the response was adequate. (The teacher may need to weigh in.)
- The Referee decides whether the level of the question met the requirements and how many points to award.
- The student who answered the question now tosses the ball to the opposing team and asks a question.
- After 10–15 minutes, the teacher can wrap it up and do a general clarification and discussion.
This activity encourages students to develop higher–level questions. Not only do they have to come up with the question, they also need to know the answer. This puts some of the responsibility of learning on the students, and they take more pride and ownership in the process. Students gain a deeper understanding if they formulate the question and determine the answer, rather than just answering teacher–generated questions.
- Build in additional guidelines for answering and asking questions. For example, instead of a single life line, the teacher could offer different options (team huddle, call a neighbor’s classroom, ask the principal).
- Use a system to subtract points for the use of life lines.
- Graph the types of questions and analyze the data.