5 Simple Questions

Lead Students to Ask Their Own Questions

Student voice in a classroom is a powerful tool of engagement. But to create that culture of student inquiry, good questions are essential. Here are 5 good ones, useful at any time, in any lesson.

"What do you think?"

Best used after a statement, prediction, conclusion, or observation. Students will often need for us to provide clarity on what we mean by "What do you think?"

Ironically, the simplicity might confuse them, but this questions gets students thinking and keeps teachers from saying too much.


Suggest students share with a neighbor before sharing with the teacher.

"Why do you think that?"

Push students to provide more depth and reason for their answers.

This question pushes students to provide reasoning...to explain their thinking.

"How do you know this?"

When this question is asked, students can make connections to their ideas and thoughts with things they've experienced, read and have seen.

"Can you tell me more?"

This question challenges students to extend their thinking and share further evidence for their ideas.

"What questions do you still have?"

This is a great question that encourages students to clarify the information, develop new ideas, and create evidence.

Remember to Allow for Think Time

Ask a question, wait, and then have students 'turn and talk' before sharing their response with the whole group. This allows all students the chance to have their voice heard, while providing additional time for students to process the information they are learning and to revise their thinking.

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