I came across a statement that caused me to think even more about questions in Strategies That Work by S. Harvey and A. Goudvis. I think this statement caught my attention since it starts with the word creativity and connects it to questions (and eventually to reading which is another area that interests me):
Creativity spawns questions.
Questions are the master key to understanding.
Questions clarify confusion.
Questions stimulate research efforts.
Questions propel us forward and take us deeper into reading.
Asking questions means you want to know more. Wanting to know more means you are engaged in learning, even if it is not always the traditional definition of or setting for learning to take place. Some students need those untraditional ways to learn and express their ideas and demonstrate their learning.
I recently came across a site that I find quite interesting … 101 Questions. At this site, you are shown a picture and asked to type the first question that comes to your mind. Your response is limited to 140 characters so that it can be shared on twitter if you choose to do so. If you want to see a different picture, you can click to skip that picture. There is also a way for you to go look at the collection of pictures and see the questions others have responded with.
I shared the 101 Questions site with some teachers one day, and they had a great time brainstorming ways to use this activity. (They also enjoyed looking at the pictures and responses.) One of the ideas that came from that discussion was that you could also do the reverse … Give the students the question and then challenge them to draw a picture that would inspire that question.
I wonder which would come first … the creativity or the questions …