Question of the Day

Age Range: 5 - 11

Resources needed:
Class PC (with Scrolling Marquee screensaver or Word Processor)
Rough paper on which the children can write their answers
Question of the Day (QOTD) Answer box where the answers can be posted

There are two ways of carrying out this activity:

1) Using the Scrolling Marquee Screensaver:

Each morning (before the children come into the classroom), you need to choose one question. This may be a closed question with one answer, or an open question which has more than one answer and requires more thought. Some examples are given here, and you can use these or make up your own.

Right-click on the desktop of your computer, and choose Properties. Now change the screensaver to "Scrolling Marquee". You can then change the settings and add a question of your choice.

You can now leave the screen saver to switch on after however many minutes it is programmed for.

Throughout the day, let the children go up to the computer, read the question, find out the answer and write their answer on the rough pieces of paper provided. They should then fold up their paper and put this into the answer box (any small box will do).

Just before school ends, mark the children's answers and you can give prizes (i.e. whatever your school reward system gives) for those with the correct answer.

2) Using a Word Processor:

If you have a word processor on your class computer, this can be used instead of the screensaver. The organisation of the activity (see above) is exactly the same, but rather than setting the question with your screensaver, open your word processor. Just open a new document, and type the question into the document (change the size of the text so that it fills the screen and is easily-readable). There are two problems with using the word processor in this way. Firstly, it might cause problems when you want to use it for other work - the file will need to be closed and then re-opened when the other work is finished. Secondly, there is the possibility that the question could be changed.

Whenever this activity has been used in school, all of the children in the class have enjoyed it. They all come into the classroom in the morning eager to find out what the question is. However, this can cause problems if not managed properly. The children need to know the appropriate times when they can and cannot look at the question (i.e. not during registration or when they have other tasks to do). Despite these minor problems, this activity is fun, and gets the children thinking, while improving their general knowledge.

A variation suggested by Lisa Woodruff...

I use another version of Question of the Day. I write a yes/no question at the top of a piece of paper and attach it to a clip board. I choose one child to ask the question to each child in the room during centers. The child uses a tally system to record the other children's answers and adds the total yes and no responses. We review the question and answers at the end of the day.


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