This week middle Littlesheep’s literacy homework is to practice ‘hot seating’ – in the business world this is when people don’t have a fixed office space but you’ll be reassured to know that in the world of Key Stage 1 it isn’t quite the same!
Hot seating simply means one person sitting in a chair, adopting a character and answering the questions from others, it is a valuable tool in literacy as a way of exploring characters’ feelings, ensuring that children understand the story and developing questionning skills. It is important that they answer as the character rather than in the third person.
When you first do this activity with children you may need to ask some questions yourself to get them started but they should soon get the idea. Children should also be encouraged to ask a variety of questions – there is a tendency for children to ask a lot of ‘How did you feel when …?’ questions and they need to be shown that they can ask questions starting in different ways. If children are struggling to use a variety of question openers you could try using a question cube or spinner with – what, who, where, why, when, how on it to start their sentences.
Some children will find it hard to remain in character whilst being questioned. If your child is struggling try using a prop to support them. Some children will find it easier to talk via a puppet or when wearing fancy dress or a mask.
The story that Middle Littlesheep picked for his homework was the Gruffalo and we worked on questions for the Gruffalo and the mouse.
We had questions like:
- what did the snake look like?
- were you scared of the owl?
- where did you meet the Gruffalo?
- what is your favourite food?
- why were you scared of the Gruffalo?
Why don’t you have a go at hot seating and see what questions and answers your children come up with about their favourite characters.