This Q and A ESL activity gets students involved in making test questions based on an article that they will read in class. Moreover, you can also use the activity with your class’s reading textbook.
Age Group: Adults
Q and A ESL Activity Preparation:
Before class, make sure you have an article prepared for the activity that suits your students’ reading ability. Newspaper articles about current events usually work very well in most situations. Make sure that it is long enough so that it can be divided into sections relatively easily.
Print out enough copies for the number of students in your class to get ready for the Q and A reading activity.
Q and A ESL Activity Guidelines:
At the beginning of class, have a pre-discussion about the topic of the article. Get the students focused on the subject matter.
You may also want to pre-teach some difficult vocabulary that is in the article. It will help them retain the word meanings better if you use the words in some sort of context or by using the vocabulary within a sentence.
Hand out the article to the students. Show them that it is divided into different sections and paragraphs.
Divide the class into groups. Depending on the class size, usually about three or four groups should be appropriate for the activity.
Assign a section of the article for each group to focus on. Tell them that they are going to read their section of the article and create a series of questions based on what they have read.
Next, you may want to take the first paragraph of the article and do a demonstration of what type of questions they could create. It is a good idea to have them make a variety of questions, such as reading for detail questions, true/false questions, main idea questions, and possibly open-ended discussion questions etc.
Assign the number of questions to create and give them a time limit to complete their questions.
After every group has finished creating their questions, have the class pass their question sheet to another group to answer. Give the class a time-limit to discuss and answer the questions.
Finally, ask the groups to read the questions and the answers that they found in the article. If there were any difficulties answering the questions, review them with the class as a whole and make sure everyone understands.
Sometimes a bit of competition is helpful in order to keep the students more engaged in the activity. Therefore, you may want to give the groups points for the best answers or other rewards for creativity etc. Most age groups tend to respond well to positive reinforcement. This gives them more motivation to complete the tasks as a result.
Follow-Up ESL Activities:
To finish up the reading questions activity, the students could scan the article for any difficult words, discuss topics related to the text or play a vocabulary activity like the Word Chain ESL Game to reinforce what they studied during the class.
If you have access to a screen in your classroom, try the Movie Subtitles ESL Writing Activity incorporating a movie that has a related topic to the Q and A lesson.