Learning to Ask Questions

Q’s Story

This is my favorite story, and the one that got Keyboard Village started in my mind. The letter X is not very important in English spelling, so it is easy for X to get left out. Life isn’t spelling. English spelling isn’t even spelling, you know how crazy that can get. X is very important in math, in love, in tic-tac-toe. It is all a matter of perspective. Of asking the right questions.

My Keywords

Question, Ask, Self-esteem, Tic-Tac-Toe, Feeling down, Left out, A matter of perspective

Tic-Tac-Toe is a game every child knows, Shiritori is a Japanese word, I used it because I don’t know the English name for this game.
X and O are often used at the end of letters as symbols for hugs (O) and kisses (X).

Lesson Ideas

I would use this as an introductory lesson, to help everybody learn each other’s name and get used to each other. For that I would focus on my favorite question “What is your nickname?” It is much more interesting than what is your name because it always comes with a story.

An extension of this is asking questions in general and learning to ask better questions. Questions that help us see more:
What is your name? vs. What is your nickname?
Where are you from? vs. Where do you go in your dreams?
How old are you? vs. How old do you wish you were?

Can you see how conversations can be much more interesting as we ask more engaging questions?

Activity Sheets

Word Ladders for Vocabulary Building, Asking Hard Questions

This is a game called Word Ladders. You start with one word and make your way to a new word. To do that you change one letter at a time. I like it because it involves mostly simple words with some pretty creative thinking. There can be more than one answer; different words, more or fewer changes to get from the beginning to the end. That’s ok.

I included Six-Dog because it uses X a lot. And Fool-Sage, Hate-Love because they can help us understand X’s potential.

Two benefits to this are learning new words from other people, and learning “new” words from yourself. A game like this skips translation. You don’t need to remember how to say X in English. You do rediscover the English words you already know. This game will help pull up vocabulary we all forget about.


Questions for Self-reflection

We all have self-doubt. This can become a very big problem for people learning English. They get stuck on “I can’t speak English” and extend it to a lot of other ‘I can’ts’ and even ‘I am not’.