Forming Open-Ended Questions
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
- Respond to open-ended questions
- Work cooperatively
- Exhibit critical thinking skills
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- A short one-page text
- Open-ended questions (teacher created)
Set Up and Prepare
- Make sure you've read the short text and created open-ended questions for it.
Being able to answer open-ended questions is crucial in any classroom, but especially in New Jersey, where students must pass a state mandated test including open-ended questions in order to graduate. Once a teacher knows how to form these questions, her ability to introduce non-standard reading materials into the classroom increase. These materials can help your students achieve higher-level thinking and enjoy reading at the same time.
Step 1: After deciding on the text that you'd like the students to read, you should create a question that incorporates action words from Bloom's taxonomy and consists of at least two bullet points.
- Bullet #1 should ask students to refer specifically to the text or a given quote. At this level students are performing on the lower level of Bloom's Taxonomy.
- Bullet #2 usually asks students to take the material from the text and connect the information to their own lives and experiences. Students are asked to demonstrate how this text/ knowledge is mirrored in their own lives. At this level students are using the upper levels of Bloom's Taxonomy and higher level thinking skills.
Step 2: Tell you students the following:
- Your questions should never be able to be answered with one word or phrase.
- Paraphrase quotations in your own words. Select a character from a book, TV show or movie whose actions prove this quote to be true.
- Consider your own successes. Explain how perseverance has helped you become a successful person in at least two real life situations.
- Discuss the quotation in small groups.
Step 3: After a 5-minute discussion, distribute the questions and have the students discuss the questions in their groups.
Step 4: After another 5-minute discussion, have the students work individually to write their responses.
- Did you use words from Bloom's Taxonomy when forming your questions?
- Did students make connections between their lives and the quotation?
- Were students able to engage in useful conversation about the quote and the question?
- Were students able to answer each part of the question?
- Were the students able to make connections between their lives and the quote?