The Question Matrix

Download link for the Question Matrix SMART Notebook file (838 KB)

The Question Matrix was developed by Chuck Wiederhold in 1991 in his book, “Cooperative Learning and High-level Thinking: The Q-matrix“.  This SMART Board activity structrue can be adapted to all content, however is ideal for work with literature and historical events.  Using the Q-matrix leads students to go ‘deeper’ in their thinking with content they have worked with.



  • Users click both dice to generate a two-word question starter.  The  faces on the first die are, “What”, “Where”, “Which”, “Who”, “Why”, and “How” and the faces on the second die are, “is”, “did”, “can”, “would”, “will”, and “might”
  • Users take that question beginning to generate the remainder of one or more questions to ask about the content or concept being studied

Possible classroom uses:

  • Whole class – students take a piece of content (e.g. a chapter, event, or character in a novel; an event or person/group in history; a scientific concept), press the dice, and generate 3-5 ‘big’ questions to ask.  Students choose any two of those questions from the list to answer, and answers are shared aloud after a brief work period
  • Small group – small groups generate and answer their own questions
  • Small group – small groups generate questions which are answered by another group

Download link for the Question Matrix SMART Notebook file (838 KB)

What other classroom scenarios could you see the Q-Matrix being used effectively?

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