A Driving Question Board (DQB) is a visual tool that can be used in a science classroom to prompt student inquiry related to a specific topic or unit. Never used a DQB before? Here are the steps to use a DQB in a science classroom:
Choose a topic or unit: The first step is to choose a topic (or maybe a whole unit) that you want your students to investigate. This could be a unit on earthquakes, climate change, or the water cycle.
Introduce a driving question: Next, introduce students to a driving question. This is a broad, open-ended question that will guide students' inquiry and investigation throughout the rest of the lesson or unit. For example, the driving question for a unit on the water cycle might be, "Which forms of energy and matter are included in the water cycle?"
Brainstorm supporting questions: Once the driving question has been introduced, have students brainstorm supporting questions that will help them answer the driving question. These supporting questions should be more specific and focused than the driving question. For example, supporting questions for the water cycle unit might include, "What parts of the water cycle can we observe in our community?" and "What happens to water after it enters the ground?"
Create the Driving Question Board: Create a physical or digital board to display the driving question and supporting questions. This could be a bulletin board in the classroom or a shared Google Doc. Personally, I love using Padlet!
Update the board:As students learn more about the topic or unit, encourage them to add additional supporting questions to the board. This will help them refine their focus and deepen their understanding. This can be an excellent starting or ending activity for each lesson.
Use the board to guide inquiry: Refer to the DQB throughout the lesson or unit to help students stay focused on key questions and guide their inquiry. Encourage students to use the board as a reference when conducting research, discussing ideas, or creating final products.
*Teacher Tip: You have full control over the DQB
If you feel a question shouldn't be on the board, remove it and ask the student(s) who wrote the question to reword it.
Combine like questions. Group questions by topic.
Add in some of your own supporting questions if necessary.
Plan your lessons in the order you want to follow, and use the DQB to give students the illusion that they are in charge. For example, you may have planned a lesson on the process of infiltration. You can start class by pointing out a question on the DQB about what happens when water enters the ground.
By using a Driving Question Board in a science classroom, you can help students develop their inquiry skills, as well as their ability to think critically and make connections between different concepts. DQBs also give students ownership of their learning.