A Good Question is Golden

The chart in my science classroom

Some questions we could research;

Why can you still hear the ocean in a shell when its out of the water?
How do magnifiers make things five times bigger? And also make them blurry, too?
How are meteors born?
When did bears leave this area?
Can chickens smell their food?

Some questions I would really love to find answers to;

Does seaweed have flowers?
Why doesn’t the liquid in a thermometer move when you turn it upside down?
Has a hurricane ever spawned in cold places like Alaska?
If there was a hole drilled through the center of the Earth, would there be gravity pulling an object through?
How much do particles vibrate in jello?

And some questions are pure delight;

How come people call someone a lone wolf if wolves live in groups?
How did the first mother snail get her design?
When you’re talking, does that take up space in the world?
Is a word a solid?

These are all questions from my students this year, grades first through third. I put them up on a chart called, “A Good Question is Golden.” I started this chart in order to demonstrate my value of questioning in science. Kids love to have answers, and I want them to know that the very best scientists come up with great questions.

It also has the practical purpose of shelving a “topic twister,” respectfully.

And it lets everyone know the obvious- that I don’t know all the answers, never will, and I am an example to you all of being okay with that.

My chart is slowly filling up with sticky notes. You never know who the next great question will come from. It gives the disorganized dreamer a chance to shine, or the child who is behind in every subject except actual thinking. It celebrates the intelligence and creativity of all who come in my room and do this work together.

A good question truly is golden.

5 thoughts on “A Good Question is Golden

  1. What a great chart! I love how you sorted the kinds of questions. . . Great idea for a slice too – All the questions we have. I love the questions for pure delight, myself! 🙂


  2. What great questions! I also like the reasons you give for having such a chart in your room – you name at least four purposes for them. My favorite reason is: “It gives the disorganized dreamer a chance to shine, or the child who is behind in every subject except actual thinking.” (Maybe that’s two reasons…)
    I am also intrigued by the seaweed questions – seems like there should be an answer out there for that one.


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