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The 5 `Wh' questions - any ideas? 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 8
Post The 5 `Wh' questions - any ideas?
Does anyone have any fun games of activities for the 5 'Wh' questions for JHS grade 2 (13-14 years old)?

Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me.


Wed May 09, 2007 2:07 pm

Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:43 am
Posts: 31
Location: Japan
Make a questions chart and quickly go through it with the students, checking understanding. Put them in groups and have them make as many sentences as they can and then brainstorm with the class. The chart looks like this, and you can dress it up as much as you want:

1. Who with?
2. Why?
3. Where?
4. What about?
5. What time?
6. Which one?
7. How long?
8. How much?

Then tell them a story (use pictures as visual guides, and to maintain interest) like the one below, pausing for a while at the numbers. Point to the first question word and prompt students to ask you the question. Then continue the story, pausing at the next number. Don't continue the story until the correct question is asked. Give stickers to students who come up with the correct question. (The numbers refer to the correct question on the chart.)

I went out last night...[1] With Jim. We went to see Spiderman at
the cinema ...[6] The cinema at AMC. The tickets were a little
expensive...[8] ¥1800 each! Anyway, we got there really
early... [5] About 7.30. We didn't want to miss the start. But
we still had to wait in line for ages...[7] Ages! About 30
minutes. When we got in to the cinema, we got the worst seats
...[3] Right in the front row near the screen. What a shame!

You might need to adapt the story to suit your students' English level. Write 6 more stories, and put them in groups. Give each group a copy of the stories and they take turns being the storyteller. Give them a scoring worksheet to record points for correct questions.

Mon May 14, 2007 2:46 pm

Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:22 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Switzerland
Post That's a great idea!!

I'm trying to get my teens of 15, 16 and 17 to do some simple speaking and I really like that idea with the questions.

I'm not sure how to go about making an easier exercise...something with present and present continuous for the teens who haven't learnt the simple past tense.

Any other useful suggestions to get them asking questions are most welcome as that does usually help them to start speaking a bit more English.

Once again, thanks for that great idea!!

Be good to yourself and others!!

Mon May 14, 2007 9:07 pm
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
That reminds me of a game I call 'Curiousity.'

I write one statement on the board.

'When he got there he was really mad.'

'It was on the bed the whole time.'

'That's what she said, and he still doesn't know why.'

'The monkey took it!'

All the students have to ask questions to find out what happened.

What did the monkey take?
Whose monkey was it?
Where was it?
Where did the monkey come from?
Why did the monkey take it?
Who else was there?

In small classes I tell them they have to ask 5 questions each. With large classes, I do it as a warm-up and each student must ask one question each. (I have them all stand up. When they ask their question, they can sit down.)

I make the story up right there on the spot. So, it requires very little prep. but it does involve some creativity. You need to keep feeding in material that students can ask questions about.

With more advanced classes you can switch to letting a student answer the questions. It's difficult at first because students will just answer the question and not provide more detail but it's a great activity because they realize they need to give more information to continue the activity - in reality - the conversation!

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Tue May 15, 2007 10:16 am
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:43 am
Posts: 31
Location: Japan
How about doing an information gap exercise in pairs? Make two sheets (A and B) with a bunch of different 'action' clipart on them. They should be exactly the same, except for the names of the people. Sheet A should have half the names randomly filled in, whith the other half missing. Sheet B should have the names that Sheet A doesn't have and should be missing the names of the people Sheet A has. I hope that makes sense.
The aim is to complete your own sheet by asking your partner a question.

For example, Who is sleeping? John is sleeping.

Adjust the grammar to suit your class level. eg. Do you know who is sleeping? Yes, I do. John is sleeping.
Who is the person sleeping in the bed?
What is the name of the person sleeping in the bed?

Do a demonstration before starting the activity, and write and practice the grammar point on the board.

Tue May 15, 2007 10:26 am

Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:22 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Switzerland
Post Thanks!!

Thanks for those tips....some of my students would manage the simple past questions but not all of them....I think I'll try the one where they have to fill in the gaps...just to see how they go with simple questions. :D

Any other ideas to get them speaking would be most welcome!!

I've put up nine squares on the white board and got them all just to write letters or numbers and then put them into the squares. Each student then has to ask a very "direct" question to find out about the student who put up the letters and numbers. That went quite well with me helping them
ask the questions. :D

I'll also try a naughts and crosses game to get them trying to use some

I'm quite pleased with their progress and would like for them now to write to a pen that could push them to work a bit more on verbs and grammar!!
Has anyone tried this idea and has it worked for your teens or not?

Be good to yourself and others!!

Tue May 15, 2007 3:50 pm
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