6 Key Questions to Ask Students

6 key questions to ask students to engage high order thinking skills

Today I’m going to share with you six open-ended questions that I like to use on a daily basis.

I specifically like these questions because they help me get my students engage in higher-order-thinking. These particular questions guide students to activate prior knowledge, make connections, demonstrate thinking, explain reasoning, expand ideas and reflect on their learning.

Because the questions are simple in nature, students are able to answer them easier. They don’t get bogged down by the complex wording or multiple steps required by the question.


The Six Key Questions

  1. What do you already know? Activating background knowledge is important when learning new things. You can help students activate their past learning experiences by reminding them of prior class activities.
  2. How do you know this? This question helps students to back up their ideas with facts or evidence. It can also help them make connections in their learning as they are able to apply things they have already learned to their new learning.
  3. What do you think? This question allows students to freely explain their thinking about a topic without getting bogged down by a complicated question.
  4. Why do you think that? It’s important for students to be able to explain their thinking. This question encourages them to provide reasoning for their thoughts.
  5. Can you tell me more? Some students will always try to get by with as little effort as possible. This question encourages them to dig deeper and share more complex ideas.
  6. What questions do you still have? This is a great question to use to wrap up lessons. It helps students reflect and identify gaps in their learning. It’s also a great way to brainstorm future topics of interest as a class.

I hope you find this list of questions helpful. What other key questions do you ask your students on a regular basis to encourage deep thinking and reflection?

As always, happy teaching!

♥ Nicole

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