This activity is taken from ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ unit in Speech Bubbles for KS1, and can easily be adapted to other ages. Dimensions brand new Speech Bubbles resources (available early 2017) are a series of lesson plans that explictly teach communication skills and develop all-important speaking skills in children.

“Rudolph’s Nose” – A Short Activity to Develop Questioning Skills in KS1

1. Put the Christmas tree image on the whiteboard (click here for the image) and tell pupils this is the answer to a question. Ask them to work with their ‘talk partner’ and see if they can think of a question to which the answer could be ‘Christmas Tree’.

2. Take feedback and make a list of the questions the class come up with. Draw attention to how many questions the pupils have managed to ask. Then, show the pupils the words ‘Rudolph’s nose’ and say that they are going to work in threes to come up with three questions to which ‘Rudolph’s nose’ could be the answer. Encourage their use of questions such as “What do you think?” “Can you think of anything better?” during their group work. Pupils could record their questions on post-its and stick them on the board, otherwise they are reported back orally and the teacher makes a note of them.

3. After all questions have been heard, the pupils could vote for which one they think is the best question. Alternatively, each group could be asked to report only their best question.

Plenary – Think, Talk

Ask the pupils to reflect on the task. Thinking of a question is quite hard to do and so this may be the difficulty most faced. Discussion should highlight thinking, listening, turn-taking and compromise.