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5-Minute Fillers: Thinking and Questioning Skills

Volume 12

Who Wants to Be a Question-aire?
Builds thinking and questioning skills

Let students prepare questions for a class quiz show. Distribute blank index cards. Tell students to imagine that they have the job of creating the questions for the show. Give them five minutes to write one question and four choices. Collect students' cards and use the questions to play the game in class.

Advance preparation: You might go to Wonderopolis to collect sample trivia questions to share with students.

Telephone Codes
Builds research and thinking skills

Pose the following question to students to start a lively discussion, or use is as a prompt for a quick journal-writing activity:

What if you could live anywhere else in the world except where you live now? Where would you want to live? Why?

Create a large classroom chart or a printable work sheet that displays a push-button telephone. Students should be able to read clearly the numbers and letters that appear on each button. Then create messages using the numbers on telephone buttons. Have students decode the messages, which might be common expressions, titles of books, spelling or vocabulary words, or people's names. Examples: 469-273-968? is a common expression. (How are you?) 42779-768837 is a famous person. (Harry Potter)

Money Math Match
Builds money counting skills

Provide each student with a sealed see-through bag containing an assortment of coins. The amount of money in each bag should match the amount in exactly one other bag, but the denominations of the coins should differ. Have each student find the other student in the class whose total exactly matches his or her own in value. Then have all students arrange the bags in order from the bag with the least amount of money in it to the bag that contains the most money.


Picture puzzles such as the ones below are a terrific tool for stimulating students to think critically. Write or draw the following puzzles on a board or chart. Challenge students to study the puzzles to see if the words -- and the way they are written -- give them clues to the common expressions the puzzles illustrate.





Answers: 1. One in a million; 2. eggs over easy; 3. a black period in history; 4. banana split