Question time

7th September 2007 at 01:00
Children need support in science to develop their abilities as effective questioners. Science Surprise Question Boxes are great to use and easy to make: simply cover a lidded box with bright paper, place Velcro pieces on the sides, then make removable question stems (eg what, where, how) or pictures to stick on.

Use the box as a starter for science activities. For example, place it on your desk and allow children to feel its weight, listen to it when shaken, then challenge them to ask questions to discover contents.

Opening the box might reveal a broken torch, leading to children making their own. Surprise children by opening the box to reveal nothing except air. It could be the start of a topic on gases.

Another idea is to invite children to look at pictures of beaches or suntan lotion on the outside of the box and challenge them to ask questions to find out what is inside. Inside is Ted in his holiday clothes and broken sunglasses with a postcard, asking children to find out which is the best material for new lenses using liht sensors*

Rosemary Feasey is a science consultant

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