As you get ready for school and begin thinking about what kinds of questions you will ask to get kids engaged and responding in Persona Especial student interviews, think about using some questions like the ones below. These are some questions that students have said they would like to ask one another when they have been given the opportunity to ask questions on their own to their classmates.

All of the sample questions below are in the present perfect, but you could easily adapt them to the present tense for comprehensibility.

It is interesting that the hot items tend to cluster around the same themes. Questions about four topics are always winners, and they show up here as well. These Top Tier Topics are:

• Music

• Pets

• Sports

• Cars

All are engaging topics. Every kid will have an opinion about at least one of them. When you ask about music, pets, sports and cars, students will have something to say.

But other topics have also showed up when students are given free rein to ask one another questions. These do not get asked as frequently, so they may be considered Second Tier Topics:

• Travel

• School

• Work

• Food

All of these topics can be the source of compelling input in your classroom. Whether you are using the present perfect or other verb forms, if your questions include something about these subjects, students will respond. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

Top Tier Topics

LA MÚSICA                                                                         (MUSIC)

¿Has tocado un instrumento musical?                    (Have you ever played a musical instrument?)

¿A cuáles conciertos has ido?                                     (What concerts have you been to?)

MASCOTAS                                                                         (PETS)

¿Alguna vez has tenido una mascota?                      (Have you ever had a pet?)

¿Cuántas mascotas has tenido?                                 (How many pets have you had?)

¿Cuáles mascotas has tenido?                                    (What pets have you had?)

¿Por cuántos años los has tenido?                            (For how many years have you had them?)

DEPORTES                                                                           (SPORTS)

¿Has jugado un deporte alguna vez?                       (Have you ever played a sport?)

¿Cuáles deportes has jugado?                                   (What sports have you played?)

¿En cuántos partidos de fútbol has jugado?         (How many football games have you played in?)

CARROS                                                                               (CARS)

¿Desde cuándo has tenido tu licencia?                   (Since when have you had your license?)

¿Por cuánto tiempo has tenido tu licencia?          (For how long have you had your license?)

¿Qué tipo de carro siempre has querido?             (What kind of car have you always wanted?)

Second Tier Topics

(May be equally as engaging–they just do not get asked as often by students)

VIAJAR                                                                               (TRAVELING)

¿Has viajado a un país diferente?                             (Have you traveled to a different country?)

¿Has viajado afuera de los Estados Unidos?         (Have you traveled outside of the US?)

¿Has viajado afuera de nuestro estado?                (Have you traveled outside of our state?)

¿Cuántos países has visitado?                                    (How many countries have you visited?)

¿Cuántos estados has visitado?                                                 (How many states have you visited?)

¿Jamás has ido en un crucero?                                   (Have you ever been on a cruise?)

¿Has ido a la playa?                                                         (Have you been to the beach?)

¿A cuáles playas has ido?                                              (Which beaches have you been to)

¿Has visto el Gran Cañón?                                            (Have you seen the Grand Canyon?)

¿Qué es el lugar más interesante que jamás has visitado?

                                           (What is the most interesting place that you have ever visited?)

¿Has leído un libro de otra cultura?                          (Have you read a book from another culture?

LA ESCUELA                                                                        (SCHOOL)

¿Nunca has ido a otra escuela?                                  (Have you ever attended another school?)

¿Has vivido en otro estado?                                        (Have you lived in another state?)

¿Por cuántos años has vivido aquí en nuestro estado?

(For how many years have you lived our state?)

EL TRABAJO                                                                        (WORK)

¿Cuántos trabajos has tenido?                                   (How many Jobs have you had?)

¿Dónde has trabajado?                                                 (Where have you worked?)

LA COMIDA                                                                        (FOOD)

¿Cuántos pasteles de desayuno has comido en una semana?

(How many donuts have you eaten in one week?)  [Really?!]

¿Qué es la comida más rara que has comido?      (What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?)

¿Has comido… ?                                                                (Have you ever eaten… ?)

¿Has deseado comer… ?                                               (Have you ever wanted to eat…?)


8/5/19  Thank you to Yocelyn Polsgrove for suggestions on re-wording some Spanish questions.