OPENING – 20 minutes

Today begins with a picture. You’ll all be given a different picture, and you’ll be asked to figure out what it is, and what it’s used for. But the thing we’re focusing on today is process. Figuring out exactly what the picture depicts is great, but what I really want from you is a list of the steps you used to get there.

Regardless of where we end up – the right answer or the wrong one (whatever that means) – HOW we get there is incredibly instructive, so paying attention to that process is critical to learning.

I’ll ask a few of you to present your process to the class.

LESSON – 35 minutes

As we’ve discussed, asking good questions is a wonderful driver of learning. But as with many idea-generation activities, good questions can be hard to think up. We tend to get stuck in our own heads, judging the things we think and dismissing them before they ever see the light of day.  How do we change that?

Loads of strategies are available, but we’re going to use one called the Question Formulation Technique (QFT). We’ll focus on just the 1st step today – the idea generation step – and that step has 4 rules:

  1. Write down as many questions as you can in the time given.
  2. Do not stop to answer, discuss or judge.
  3. Write down all questions exactly as you think of them.
  4. Change any statements into questions.

We’ll discuss these rules as a class just to be sure everyone is clear.

To begin our question development, we’re going to use what’s called a Question Focus. This is simply something to get us thinking. And it’s the ‘thing’ we’ll be developing questions about.

Our Question Focus is the quote that appears in the light yellow box to the side of this post (or possibly below it if you’re viewing this on a mobile device).

You’ll have 7 minutes to generate AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN about this QF. And please remember, quantity is the key here. Don’t worry about whether these questions are good/bad/stupid/great. Just write down as many as you can think of, we’ll do the work of assessing and organizing these questions tomorrow.

When we’re done, we’ll have a few of us read some of our questions to the class, and we’ll debrief the activity as a group.

“Not standing out is the same thing as being invisible.”

Seth Godin