Start and Finish with Questions

What if students finished research projects by not only talking about what they learned, but also new questions they now have?

Photo of Aaron Wilson-Ahlstrom
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Too often we as teachers start well - giving students space to ask and pursue their own questions - only to finish by having students present what they learned as if now that they've done their research and completed their final project, they're done. How powerful would it be if we required students to finish their projects with a few new questions that have arisen for them in the course of their research? Students watching a final presentation (or seeing it in a Gallery Walk) could brainstorm and add their own questions. Students could then use Matthew Drewette Card's assessment tool (from this challenge) to self-assess the complexity and quality of their questions as part of their final assessment. 

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

Having questions be a required part of the final assessment sends the message that we are never done learning, and that authentic inquiry projects always reveal new questions, even as earlier questions get answered (or don't get answered). Asking good questions becomes a valued skill. We develop assessments for providing feedback on one another's questions, so that questions, like any other important work product, can be revised, deepened, improved.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • All of the above

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dani Corso

I was just think about this as we are wrapping up my class project!

Photo of Robert Ryshke


This is a very good idea. Ending with a question, might then prompt a students to begin some more inquiry.

Photo of Aaron Wilson-Ahlstrom

Thanks, Matthew! And I don't think it's that difficult - after doing it a few times I think kids would just get used to it and it would feel natural pretty quickly. The difficult piece is to remember to do it, and to make it part of the culture of presentations.

Photo of Matthew Drewette-Card

This idea drives the heart of learning which is curiosity! Learning never stops; it only opens more doors, possibilities, and ideas. Ending the unit with a question is a great idea to spark and integrate curiosity in education! Love it!!!