Story Fan-n-Pick

Just got back from another Cooperative/Social Emotional Learning class meeting with tons of ideas from the brilliant minds of my colleagues.

One of tonight’s focus structures is called “Fan-N-Pick”. It’s one of the more…involved…Kagan structures, but my modification of it boils down to this:

  1. Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 1.31.44 PMWrite out 12 questions about whatever you are learning and make a copy for each group. You can use the blank template on the last page of the attached document, or you can use one of the pre-made question sets in the document if you want the students to discuss a story.
  2. Cut up the questions so that you have 12 question cards.
  3. Split students into teams of 3-4 students.
  4. Assign each student a letter that corresponds with a role: (A) Asking the question and recording the answer (split this into two roles if there are four students on a team), (B) Answering the questions, (C) Asking a follow-up question/for details. I RECOMMEND USING THESE FREE FORMS THAT I CREATED.
  5. Student A fans out the question cards, upside-down, like you would at the beginning of a magic trick (“Pick a card, any card!”), and holds them out to Student B.
  6. Student B chooses a question and hands it to Student A, who reads it aloud, then hands the card back to Student B.
  7. Student B ponders his or her answer for 20 seconds, and then he or she responds.
  8. Student C asks a follow-up question (for another detail, clarification, etc.)
  9. Student D records Student B’s original and elaborated response. (Student A does this as well if there are only 3 students in the group).
  10. Roles switch by rotating them one person to the left, and a new question is tackled.
  11. Give the students enough time for everyone to answer at least once–maybe even twice–before stopping the activity. Then, if you want, you can have students write out answers to two or three of the questions that were left over.

I made up two sets of questions that can probably be used to discuss any story. One set is labeled “Advanced” and includes higher-level thinking questions, while the other is labeled “Basic” and includes low-level questions. Each set is provided in Spanish and in English, so that other language teachers can translate them if desired. There is also a blank template so that you can write other questions to modify the activity for whatever other purpose you may have: at our class, we brainstormed the following possibilities:

  • Discussing school supplies: what you have/need/want for different classes and why…could be used for just about any new vocabulary set
  • Practicing a verb tense: just make sure the questions would require students to answer in the tense that you’re practicing
  • PQA: Personalized questions to get kids talking about their lives: likes/dislikes, good/bad habits, families, activities, etc.
  • Discussing articles…reactions to what you read, comparing/contrasting to other events, etc.

If you make a question set that you’d like to share, please send it to me and I’ll post it!!

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