I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who
- Rudyard Kipling
Teach your students to frame questions using: what; why; when; how; where; and who. 'If this is the Answer, What is the Question?' is a great teaching strategy for this purpose. It is based on a segment from the popular TV show Mock the Week.
Below is a Question Words poster. This should be printed A3 size, laminated and displayed on the classroom wall. Give students a set of answers based on a topic of study. Use the worksheet below by handwriting answers and photocopying one for each student. They must frame a relevant question for each answer using a question word. Name, mention, give, true or false can also be used to frame questions. They may use each question word only once. Keep this in mind when deciding the answers!
This exercise may be assigned for homework or classwork. If assigned for classwork I encourage teachers to allow students to work in pairs.
Give this exercise multiple times while teaching a section of coursework. It won't take long before students have mastered the strategy. Having completed a section of coursework, revise and have fun by playing the 'If this is the Answer, What is the Question?' game.