Questions…they are everywhere and we hear them continuously from the children around us each day. Children are natural inquirers and are eager to find out about the world. As they make their way through our complex and, at times, difficult world, they will ask questions to establish their understanding of how everything operates.
At IDEA, what can we do as educators and parents to promote questioning (and answering) to help our students and children to develop their thinking and broaden their knowledge?
WE can ask questions.
As you are playing with your child, it is good practice to discuss what is happening during play and to also ask your child questions…big questions. These big questions should allow your child the opportunity to think, extend previous thoughts on the topic, and to reason through to the ‘answer.’
Try this. Next time you are playing with your child, answer his/her question with a question. See how your child responds. For example,
Child: “Is this a cow?”
You: “What do you think?”
You: “How do you know it is a cow?”
Asking open-ended questions that can have a variety of answers allows your child’s thinking to expand. This engages your child in conversation and allows them to ‘practice’ conversing. It will build confidence, vocabulary, and strengthen thinking skills.
It’s time to start asking higher-order thinking questions. How will you begin?
If you’d like to see us in action with some children, we’d love to arrange a tour for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register your interest.