There was an interesting package waiting for the children when they came into the classroom this morning! At once the students wanted to know what was inside…
Before we opened the parcel, we asked questions about what we thought it could be and why it had been sent to us. This was a great opportunity to talk about what makes a quality question. We discussed the difference between closed and open questions and why open questions give us the most information.
We then opened the parcel and realised we had been sent a rare and unusual Rainbow Dragon Egg!
The children then completed a great P4C, (Philosophy For Children) lesson, where they worked together in groups to ask questions regarding the Rainbow Dragon and its egg. The children were asked to think of quality questions, (ones that were open, would give them the most information and would help them if they were writing an information text on the Rainbow Dragon).
The next stage of the lesson required huge amounts of teamwork, problem solving, cooperation, compromise and reasoning. They had to decide on one question from their collection of questions, the one that they thought was the best question. The whole group needed to agree and they needed to be able to explain to the class their choice. I gave the groups 7 minutes to come to their decision and was highly impressed when all groups had chosen their Key Question with two minutes to spare. The explaining and reasoning on display was of a very high quality indeed 🙂
The 5 Key Questions that were chosen were:
When is it going to hatch? How long will it live? Is there only 1 in the world? What will it eat? and Does it have a family?
The final stage of the lesson involved the class voting for their Number One question out of the 5 group questions. This was done by ‘Blind Vote’.
I personally thought all 5 questions were quality questions and deserved the final vote. The class voted for their Key Question to be: How long will it live?
There then followed a very good discussion linked to this question, where we talked about why we thought this was an important question. It also lead onto a number of different questions also being asked. A favourite question was: What if the dragon hatches, what mischief could it get up to? The children really let their imagination run wild with this one!
The Learning Intention for the lesson was “I can ask quality questions that drive my learning” and the children certainly achieved the Success Criteria. They displayed a knowledge of the difference between open and closed questions and they used one question to lead onto others.
The children were also practising the Aubin Grove Learner Quality of… “I am a thinker”.
The most positive part of today’s lesson was the enthusiasm and imagination the students displayed when asking their questions and having their discussions in the groups. We have certainly had a positive start to our new writing focus of Information Texts. 🙂