Question Matrix Activity

A few weeks ago I ‘created’ an activity for my health classes that came from me being inspired by a number of resources that I had seen from my PLN over the past year or so. It was an interesting activity for me to trace the origins of this idea.

Whenever I see something useful on Twitter I pin it to my growing number of Pinterest boards using the Chrome Pinterest save button. This image of a question matrix used to elicit deeper questioning and responses has been preying on my mind for a while:


Although I had been planning on incorporating this image into my teaching, I couldn’t work out how I was going to do so. Then I saw this tweet from @RTwithDrOffutt in which she posed questions to students that were written on a ball. I had seen something like this in team building exercises or name games.

Putting the two together, and probably unconsciously inspired by this blog post that I read a few years ago from the awesome Ross McGill I bought a ball from 5 Below and wrote the words from the matrix left column in the the bright colored squares and the words from the top row in the yellow squares. See below:

This is how I used the ball at the end of our sexual health topic. I tossed the ball for a student to catch. They had to choose the ‘colored word’ and a ‘yellow word’ nearest their thumbs. They wrote those down and tossed he ball to the next student. They then formulated a question based upon their words.

The students read their words out aloud and in turn answered them. I collated some of the better questions and put them into this matrix here:


I think for a first attempt it was successful. The students enjoyed the kinesthetic element to it and that they were forced to be creative with their questioning. I plan on doing this activity again after future topics and hope that with practice the students will be able to create more searching questions.

This activity could be done before a unit starts and students create questions that they then seek to answer at the end of the unit.

I also like the idea of my 4th period creating questions for my 5th period class to answer and vice versa. Or perhaps students could create questions in advance of me delivering a topic and I address their questions through my instruction.

How might you consider using the question matrix, the ball activity, or both? Instead of a ball, would these work? Please share any ideas that you have.

*This post was originally posted on


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