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Spotlight on Strategies:20 questions

Identify several images relating to the topic and post around the room. Develop a higher order inquiry question to prompt students to ask more questions as they attempt to answer the initial one. Students move round the room asking questions relating to the image and the bigger picture questions. Share and refer back throughout topic.

Big idea

The game twenty questions is widely known and helps encourage questioning and deductive reasoning. Questioning helps form connections in the brain. Creating a questioning culture within the classroom helps improve problem solving, develop self-confidence, and foster individualised learning. This strategy takes a spin on the traditional game as a way to encourage students to think through and articulate questions about a unit or topic of study.

Overview of strategy



Approximately ten printed images, pen/pencil

  1. Post the printed images that relate to your topic around the classroom. Develop a higher order inquiry question that will prompt students to ask more questions.
  2. Explain to the students that the images all relate to a topic and provide a snapshot of some of the concepts.
  3. Have the students move around the room and take a moment at each photo to think of questions they may have about the bigger picture question that you asked. Continue until all of the students have had a chance to analyse each photo.
  4. Come together as a group and have the students share the questions they created.
  5. Print or post students’ collective questions around the classroom, or share on a website so that your class will be able to refer to the ideas throughout the unit.
Sum it up

This strategy is an effective way to encourage student inquiry by promoting the processes of questioning and deductive reasoning in the classroom.

More ideas
  • Challenge students to find the answers to questions by working in small groups or pairs.
  • Use a developed list of questions as a scavenger hunt within a chosen website or provider of digital content.
  • Share and pause video or audio segments every 60 seconds and allow students to write questions.

Try another? Check out or view all.

See these in action: catch up on a recent 'Spotlight on Strategies' webinar .

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