Monday, July 25, 2011

Dice Questions

Purpose: to give lower level students speaking and listening practice; to give higher level students practice with critical thinking skills, as well as speaking and listening

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Materials: white board and markers for a group; typed or written page for one-to-one; dice (one die for each individual, pair, or small group); an object or picture for intermediate/advanced level

Prep: Prepare a list of 6 questions related to the current unit of study or the selected object or picture

Beginning level example: questions about family

1. Who lives with you?

2. How many people in your family live in Minnesota?

3. Where do the people in your family live? What countries?

4. Do you have children? How old are they?

5. What is a name that many people in your family have?

6. How many cousins do you have?

Intermediate/advanced example: Show students an object or picture. Ask questions that require different levels of critical thinking. For an object, ask questions about it and for a picture of a person, ask questions with she or he.

1. Describe: What does it/he/she look like, feel like, etc.

2. Compare: What/how is something like or different from something else?

3. Associate: What does it/he/she remind you of?

4. Analyze (only if the topic is a thing): What parts does it have? What is it made of?

5. Apply: What does it/he/she do? What might you use it for?

6. Argue for or against: good, bad, why?


1. If using a board, write the list of six questions or instructions that students can respond to about the topic, object, or picture.

2. Check for comprehension of vocabulary and instructions.

3. Model the activity with several students.

4. Students work with partners or in small groups. One student rolls the die to see which question he/she needs to answer about the assigned topic. Then the next student takes a turn with a new question.

A Great Resource for teachers and tutors

Notebook: Resources for the Adult Educator is a 16-page resource designed especially for teachers and tutors. It is published three times per year as a benefit for ProLiteracy members. Each article in Notebook describes a ready-to-use teaching idea related to reading, writing, listening and speaking, numeracy, or a practical application of literacy skills such as making a budget. Most articles contain reading material and/or worksheets that can be photocopied for students to use. In some instances, additional worksheets are made available online for tutors and teachers who want to do additional work on the topic. Each issue also contains an inspirational story about a learner or an instructor as well as a resources section that lists events or links to other valuable teaching resources.

The Spring 2011 issue of Notebook: Resources for the Adult Educator, is available online and we have been encouraged to share the link with tutors and teachers in our network.

In this issue:

  • Health Literacy
  • Applied Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Exploring Resources
  • Tutor Profile

Access an electronic version of this issue along with related expansion materials here.

For more information about ProLiteracy, visit