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Questioning Libya

June 18, 2011

Schools are great at training kids to answer questions, but I want my students to become great at asking questions. Here’s a lesson with two aims – help students to understand what’s going on in Libya at the moment AND help them to learn how to ask great questions. This is sometimes called split-screen lesson objectives: one objective focuses on knowledge, the other on skills.

In this lesson I explained that there are two types of questions:

  • Basic – What? When? Who? Where?
  • Advanced – Why? What will happen next? Which is better? etc.
Basic questions have only once possible answer. Advanced have many. I wanted my students to devise basic and advanced questions about the crisis in Libya. They struggled a little to ask advanced question of course, because you can’t really ask them without knowing the answers to the basic questions first. Perhaps we should have established these before I set them off on the advanced questions.
Nevertheless, by letting them come up with their own questions about Libya, they become much more interested, and ultimately informed, about what’s going on. This will lead on to a mock United Nations Assembly where they will debate solutions. I’ll post a video of that next week.
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