Sunday, January 15, 2012

Writing Lesson: The Queen of Questions

Let's face it:  Writing can be boring.  However, it can also be really fun if a teacher plans engaging and authentic activities.  I am happy to say my Kinders had a blast learning about "Questions" and "Interview Questions" the last two weeks.  Here are a few things we did:

1 - We read aloud If You Were a Question Mark by Shelly Lyons.  I like this book because it describes the uses of and purposes for a question mark in a simple way.  It is informative and it provides lots of examples of question sentences.  (The book also tells a really cute mystery story about a missing cake... my kids loved looking for clues and trying to figure out the mystery.)

2 - I was concerned that the students would not be able to tell the difference between the information and the examples of questions.  In order to differentiate between the two, I figured I would have a puppet "read" the questions.  And then an idea popped in my head... why not put a crown on a puppet and dub her "The Queen of Questions."

3 - Have you ever heard of that game "20 Questions"?  Well, I had 14 kids present the day we did this activity, so we called it "14 Questions," though we normally have 20 children.  Anyway, I put a mystery object in a box that I decorated with question marks (I should have taken a photo, but it was nothing special).  I gave all the kids a Post-It note with a question mark on it.  When each child was ready, s/he raised their hand and asked a question in order to figure out what the mystery object was.  I (or our educational assistant) then wrote the child's question on chart paper and that child came to the front to add their question mark Post-It note to the end of the sentence.  In the end, we re-read our questions and then I revealed the mystery object.

Tip!  I highly recommend using the Post-It notes.  It had a few advantages:  1) I could ensure that each child participated and they felt accountable for coming up with a question and 2) it gave each student an opportunity to show me s/he knew the appropriate spot for a question mark.

4 - During another writing lesson, we focused specifically on "Interview Questions."  Of course, I could have taken the easy route and described what an interview is to my students.  But that is boring and ineffective.  So... my students conducted their own interviews.  We used this FREEBIE from Kindergarten Crayons.  If you would like to get your hands on this awesome printable, visit Fran's amazing blog by clicking HERE!

After my kiddos thought of and wrote their interview question ("Do you like _____?"), I lined up two rows of chairs facing each other.  I gave the kids clipboards and they took their seats in the rows.  The process was like speed dating, LOL!  Student A asked Student B his/her question and recorded the answer in the appropriate column.  Student B then asked Student A his/her question and recorded the anwers.  When I noticed that the students were finished I rang a bell and ONE row (always the same row) of students shifted down one chair.  It worked really well!  Interviews in Kindergarten... easy, peezey, lemon squeezey!

I would love to hear how you teach "Questions" in your class!  (By the way...we will be learning about "Exclamations" this coming week, so if you have any fun ideas to share in that area, I would be so happy to hear those activities, too!)

Thanks for stopping by!  :)


  1. Great post! I am always looking for new writing ideas and am going to use some of these with my kiddos.

    Growing Up Teaching

  2. Just found your blog and I am your newest follower!


  3. Thanks for "stopping by," ladies! :)

  4. This might be the cutest thing I've ever seen!


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