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Questioning

Background

Questioning is an ability to find new information, making intelligent guesses on the basis of limited information and making creative interpretations.

Aim

To frame meaningful question that can result in children enhancing their awareness or information of the context or event.

Activities

Send a small group of children, no more then five or six, to speak to a person you have already identified and to gather information about the person. While the interviewing group is away, tell the rest of the class about the person in some detail. When the interviewing group comes back, they will have to answer the questions from the class.

One child goes out, stands at the door or at some distance from the class, and selects one of the hundreds of things she sees around (it could be anything --tree, leaf, squirrel, bird, wires, pole, grass, stones). When she comes back, she says just one sentence about the thing she has in mind. For example, she might say, 'What I saw is brown.'

Now every child in the class gets one chance to ask more about the thing and guess what it was. For example, questioning may go like this:

Child 1: 'Is it thin?'
Answer: 'No.'
Child 2: How big is it?'
Answer: 'It's quite big'.
Child 3: 'Is it as big as a chair?'
Answer: 'No, it's smaller than a chair.'
Child 4: 'Can it turn?'…

Related Questions

Some children may object to the answers they got for their questions. In such situations, the teacher's role is very important, as someone who can help children establish subtle distinctions between meanings.

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Adapted from: "The Child's language and the teacher - A handbook", Krishna Kumar, UNICEF.

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