The next thing was to write down everything we knew for certain in the problem. For example, you might phrase it this way, “What do we know for certain about the problem?” This is a wonderful approach because, now that we’ve gotten the hunches out of the way, we’re ready to focus in on th problem. No guesses or hunches are allowed. We are strictly “in the text.” These are the facts of the matter and are critical to solving the problem.
After we’ve nailed down the facts, we ask, “What questions can we ask that will get us the information we need to help the protagonist solve the problem?” Of course, one never says protagonist. By this time, everyone is using the protagonist’s first name. A list of questions is produced. An exciting activity, the question generation shows how engaged your audience is. It is often the “proof” that those reluctant to use Problem-based Learning as a staff development technique need to experience to see its efficacy. Before you move on to the final activity, be sure to prioritize—with the group—the most important questions.