Using question dice (PDF, 28 KB)
The purpose of the activity
To develop ways of interrogating texts and to develop confidence to do so.
The learners throw two dice, one with a different question starter on each side and one with a suitable verb (see below) on each side. They use the starters and verbs they roll as the basis for building questions about a piece of text.
The teaching points
- Reading and re-reading a text to check understanding.
- Using questions to guide reading.
- Several pairs of dice, prepared as described below.
- Texts for the learners to read.
The guided teaching and learning sequence Prepare several pairs of dice; each group of learners will get a pair. One dice in each pair has basic question starters on each side, for example: What?, Who?, When?, Where?, How? and Why? The other dice has suitable (modal) verbs on each side, for example: must, would, can/could, will, might and should.
1. Ask all the learners to read the selected text or, if it is at too high a level for them to read independently, read it as a group using a shared reading approach (see below).
2. Explain and demonstrate the procedure to the learners:
a. Roll the question starter dice to find the first word for their question.
b. Roll the verb dice to find the second word for their question.
c. Make up a question about the text that uses these two words, for example, “How could ...?” “Why might ...?” “When would ...?”
3. Demonstrate this process for the learners, for example: “How could this problem be solved differently?” or “Why might the writer have put this sentence last?” Explain that the questions should relate to the text they have just read.
4. Have pairs of learners use the dice until they have exhausted all the possible questions about the text.
5. Discuss the activity with the learners: how useful was it as a way to check understanding and find out more from a text?