Conversation Question Ideas

Small Groups

Time: 45-60 minutes

Directions: This is a no-brainer. Copy the cards on to cardstock (if available) or paper. Cut them up. Divide the class into small groups. Give a complete set of cards to each group. The cards go in the middle of the group, face down. One student chooses a card and asks another student in the group. Students should be instructed to answer and add to the response. You walk around and assist and monitor. Write down grammatical mistakes that you hear. Then, use the last 10 minutes of the class period to put some of these mistakes on the board for error correction with the class.

Card Exchange

Time: 30-45 minutes

Directions: This is a great activity for a class of at least eight students; the more students you have, the better it works. Give each student a card. Each of the cards should have a different question on it, but if you have a really big class, you could double up on questions. Students stand up and each find someone to ask their question to. They take turns asking and answering the questions in their new-found pairs. Then, they exchange cards and find another partner, and the process repeats. Even if a student is asked the same question more than once, no big deal; someone else who hasn’t heard the answer is usually asking it.

Note: If you write your own questions, they shouldn’t simply elicit a yes/no answer; the idea of the activity is interesting conversation.


Time: approximately 45 minutes

Directions: Distribute one card per student. (If you have a large class, you can either have students work in pairs or you could divide the class in two and use two sets of cards.) Instruct students that they are going to walk around the room and survey seven of their classmates on their question. Encourage them to develop their own follow-up questions. They may take notes as they listen to their classmates’ responses. Allow around 15-20 minutes for students to conduct their surveys. Monitor and circulate. Then, bring the class back together and have individual students report back on their results. Encourage group discussion.

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