Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

20 Questions Mingle

Polly Base, Kelsey Willems | Published: April 9th, 2024 by K20 Center


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20 Questions Mingle

This strategy can be used to help students ask questions, review key vocabulary, and practice subject specific skills, specifically grammar.

20 Questions Mingle


As part of inquiry-based learning, students should practice asking low stakes questions with peers. With this strategy, teachers are providing students with a topic related to their lesson material and students are asking their peers questions to figure out what topic they were given. They only have 20 questions to guess their topic correctly, so they have to practice being selective with their questions. Attached is a handout where students can keep track of questions they ask. While the following procedure and examples are focused on using this strategy for reviewing grammar skills, the strategy may be used as skill and vocabulary review for any subject. The cards created by teachers can be words, phrases, or even images as long as they are reflective of the content students are reviewing.


  1. The teacher will determine the topics being reviewed, such as punctuation, parts of speech, grammar, usage, mechanics, or style. 

  2. The teacher will create a class set of cards with the word, phrase or punctuation mark to be placed on the students’ backs. 

  3. The teacher will inform the students that they will have a chance to ask up to twenty questions about the card on their back.

  4. The students will only ask one question per classmate. (See attachment for a Recording Table.)

  5. Questions should start with “is” or “does” and should be written on the handout provided. These types of questions prompt “yes/no” responses. 

  6. If a student thinks they know what the topic is, they must write it down on the top of their paper and ask the teacher. 

  7. The first five students to identify their topics are the “winners.” 

  8. Repeat steps 1-7 by redistributing the topics to different students. 

  9. The attached handout can be collected to evaluate the strength of students’ questioning skills.

American English. (n.d.). List And Mingle With Mixed Grammar Skills. [PDF]. U.S. Department of State.