Using Questions in Physical Education Teaching

  • Closed – can be answered by a ‘YES’ or ‘NO’
  • Open – requires more thought and more than a simple one-word answer
  • Open questions can be phrased as a statement, which requires a response

Some words to use to start an open question (there are many more!)

Can – Are – May – Is – Should – Will – How – Could

Examples of Open Questions in PE

  • What happens when you dribble into a group of players?
  • Is there a better way that you can do this (fielding a ball in cricket by running in with it)?
  • How would you improve your score?
  • Why do we communicate with our team mates?
  • When you don’t look up in a game, what happens?
  • How do you know when your team has been successful?
  • Is there another way we can travel along this bench?
  • How will you know when to move to the next part of the dance?
  • Show me how to move more fluently in your sequence?

Use questions to:

  1. Differentiate – use higher level questioning to extend your more able
  2. Assess

‘SHOW ME’ – ask all the pupils to show you what you want to see rather than just the ones who put their hands up

‘HANDS UP IF’ – ask all the pupils to put their hands up if they have achieved

  1. Check for understanding – use open questions to ask pupils ‘what they have learnt’ / ‘what can you tell me about?’ / ‘Can you tell me 3 key things about a good star shape?
  2. Explore what is possible – asking open questions in PE allows the pupils to share their ideas, they may see a solution that they haven’t been told, let them explore an answer