The Most Important Question in Any Classroom.

If you want your children to be engaged in every lesson you teach, there’s one question you need to add into each and every lesson plan you’ll ever write.

So you’re teaching your class about volcanoes. “Don’t tell them everything” is the first rule. Don’t ruin the opportunity for investigation and research.

Tell them about an amazing volcano you once climbed. Tell them the inspirational stuff, get them hooked. Show them a picture of lava, a video of an eruption. Watch their eyes bulge from their head and once you’ve got them, once they’re in hook, line and sinker, you can drop the question that will change it all.

It will allow them to choose their own direction, whilst still following the learning outcome you intended to teach.

And it is:

“Now you’ve heard what I like about volcanoes, what would you like to know?”

Write down their questions and tell them; “You’ve got 3 days to answer one or all of these questions. I don’t care who you work with or how you represent your research but in 3 days, I’d like you to present your findings to the rest of the group.”

Watch as time management, cooperation, communication, compromise, determination and motivation take hold and your class begin to develop key executive skills.

Try it ❤️

#montessori #primaryschool #teaching

No Comments On This Topic
  1. Carla
    7 months ago

    My students just google and wikipedia stuff then regurgitate whatever they read online.

    • Mike Johnston
      7 months ago

      I think that’s one issue, Carla, that I’ve definitely experienced as well with students when they do independent research.

      I’ve found this a good opportunity to show them why the information they’ve found with the “copy and paste from Wikipedia” method is insufficient and produces generic information which doesn’t properly answer the questions.

      It’s also a good opportunity to show them how to actually use Wikipedia as the high quality resource that it is when used properly. Showing them how to click the link down to the original source at the bottom for example can teach them about referencing and expose them early on to how academic research is done.

      I’m definitely going to give this a try Gavin!

      • Gavin McCormack
        7 months ago

        Great point

  2. Sonia Vandeleur
    7 months ago

    This approach encourages curiosity – an aspect that is lacking in education. Students need guidance on how not to regurgitate from Wikipedia – so a great response from Mike. Come and present at the International Conference on Thinking 2020 in June 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Unfortunately, our speakers list is full, otherwise I would have invited you. http://www.icot2020.org

    • Gavin McCormack
      7 months ago

      I would love to speak at your conference

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