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A Special Speaker (Part 2)

by Janet Lee Stinson

Read part 1 first…

“Good morning, grade 11’s!” I chirped. “ I have exciting news! We are having a special speaker tomorrow. This person is an accomplished author, speaker, leader, and world traveler. I have invited her to speak with you because I believe that each of you can learn something from her. She is very excited to meet you!”

Everyone sat up straighter…I began to add more details about the special speaker without revealing her identity. I showed photos of the places she had been, the textbook she had written, and described why I thought she was a perfect person to speak with them. The students were very intrigued.

We started to generate questions.

I explained that rich questions elicit more than just a yes or no answer. A rich question forces a person to think about a rich answer. Rich questions come to life when we adjust them to suit the current conversation. I reminded my students that creating rich questions would help them in life situations like job interviews.

Based on the information I had provided about our mystery guest, students (in groups of three) generated and discussed rich questions. I floated around smiling as I listened to each discussion. Well, she is an author, maybe we should ask about how she actually planned the book she wrote. Next, each group numbered their questions from 1-3. (#1 represented their favourite)

I asked each group to share their #1 question for the class. After the class agreed it was a good question, I copied it to chart paper. We kept going around the room until all questions were considered and argued. I posted the list of questions on the side of the room for reference during the presentation.

My students were ready for this mysterious speaker to arrive. They were excited about having a conversation with her. They had already experienced a mental shift. I thought it was going to work.

Click here to read on…

Putting yourself in their shoes-How would you feel if you were this administrator preparing to share with students?

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