Mother’s Day is this weekend, and for most of us, it’s a chance to reflect and honor moms and mother figures who have been significant in our lives. While the day can also be challenging for some — those who have lost mothers or for whom the relationship wasn’t ideal — we hope that these conversation starters will spark a meaningful and positive dialogue for everyone.
Name three things about your mother — or a mother figure — that you try to model in your own life.
What is your fondest or funniest memory about your mother or mother figure?
If you could plan the ideal Mother’s Day celebration, what would you choose to do and why?
Animals are mothers, too! Often moms in the animal kingdom have interesting mothering practices. If you could be, or have, any animal mom, what would you choose?
Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say
Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you’re sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you.
Putting your hands in your pockets makes people not trust you.
If you want to come off as inviting and trustworthy, keep your hands where people can see them, says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “When people keep their hands in their pockets, it appears they are hiding something. And someone is more likely to be lying because they are hiding their hands,” she explains. Concealing your hands comes across as more controlled, which can be interpreted as “deceitful and untrustworthy,” she notes. “People generally consider individuals with their hands in their pockets to be insecure,” explains Girish Shukla, a mental health and psychology expert.
Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.
According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, “the physical openness of your body language invites trust,” says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy.
“Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about,” Shukla says. “Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything.”
Christmas lessons and activities are great motivational techniques. Some of the best activities in an inclusional classroom include brainstorming activities. When you provide students with the opportunity to brainstorm, you are actually using differentiated instruction. Brainstorms work well for gifted learners, mainstream learners and disabled learners.
6. Why is Christmas special to you?
7. How many different Christmas songs can you think of?
8. How many words can you find using only the letters in the word Christmas?
9. List all your different memories of Christmas.
10. Think of all the different things that happen at your house at Christmas. (Types of decorations, visitors etc.)
Brainstorms can be in writing or done in small or large groups in the classroom. All students have the chance to feel successful during brainstorm types of activities.
Learning how to ask questions is essential in any language. In English, the most common questions are known as “wh” words because they begin with those two letters: where, when, why, what, and who. They can function as adverbs, adjectives, pronouns, or other parts of speech, and are used ask for specific information.
Use this word to ask questions about people. In this example, “who” serves as a direct object.
Who do you like?
Who has he decided to hire for the job?
In other instances, “who” serves as the subject. In this case, the sentence structure is similar to that of positive sentences.
Who studies Russian?
Who would like to take a vacation?
In formal English, the word “whom” will replace “who” as the direct object of a preposition.
To whom should I address this letter?
For whom is this present?
Use this word to ask about things or actions in object questions.
What does he do at weekends?
What do you like to eat for dessert?
By adding the word “like” to the sentence, you can ask for physical descriptions about people, things, and places.
What type of car do you like?
What is Mary like?
Use this word to ask questions about time-related events, specific or general.
When do you like going out?
When does the bus leave?
This word is used to ask about location.
Where do you live?
Where did you go on vacation?
This word can be combined with adjectives to ask questions about specific characteristics, qualities and quantities.
How tall are you?
How much does it cost?
How many friends do you have?
When paired with a noun, this word is used when choosing between a number of items.
Which book did you buy?
Which kind of apple do you prefer?
Which type of computer takes this plug?
A number of “wh” questions can combine with prepositions, typically at the end of the question. Some of the most common combinations are:
who … for
who … with
where … to
where … from
what … for (= why)
what … in
Note how these word pairings are used in the following example.
Who are you working for?
Where are they going to?
What did he buy that for?
You can also use these pairings to ask follow-up questions as part of a larger conversation.
Jennifer is writing a new article.
She’s writing it for Jane magazine.
When more general verbs such as “do” and “go” are used, it’s common to use a more specific verb in the reply.
Why did he do it?
He wanted to get a raise.
Questions with “why” are often replied to using “because” as in the following example.
Why are you working so hard?
Because I need to finish this project soon.
These questions are often replied to using the imperative (to do). In this case, the clause with “because” is understood to be included in the answer.
Why are they coming next week?
To make a presentation. (Because they are going to make a presentation.)
Test Your Knowledge
Now that you’ve had a chance to review, it’s time to challenge yourself with a quiz. Provide the missing question words. The answers follow this test.
____ is the weather like in July?
____ much is the chocolate?
____ boy won the race last week?
____ did you get up this morning?
____ team won the World Cup in 2002?
____ does Janet live?
____ long does the concert last?
____ food do you like?
____ does it take to get to New York from Albany?
____ does the movie begin this evening?
To ____ do you report at work?
____ is your favorite actor?
____ house does he live in?
____ is Jack like?
____ does the building look like?
____ does she study English with?
____ do the people in your country go for vacation?
Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning. Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going.
Here is a simple infographic offering questions that work to develop critical thinking on any given topic. Whenever your students discover or talk about new information, encourage them to use these questions for sparking debate and the sharing of opinions and insights among each other. Together they can work at building critical thinking skills in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere.
How Does It Work?
Critical thinking is thinking about purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving with freedom from bias or egocentric tendencies. You can apply critical thinking to any kind of subject, problem, or situation you choose. We made the Critical Thinking Skills Graphic for you with this in mind.
The Critical Thinking Skills Graphic includes categories for Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Each section has eight questions that begin with their corresponding word. The questions are meant to be versatile and broad, and applicable to a range of topics.
In these questions, you’ll find great potential conversation starters and fillers. That said, this is obviously not a definitive list! Let them inspire your students to come up with their own questions for critical thinking skill-building.