Essential Resources for Building Your Learners’ Questioning Skills

by | May 15, 2017

Teachers are always on the lookout for ways to foster questioning skills in students. They are skills that serve us in school and in everything beyond it. Curiosity and questioning are what keep us interested and engaged in life. Questioning skills are important for many practical reasons, after all:

  • We question to gather information, and it helps us to learn
  • We communicate and understand others through questioning, as well as explore the world we live in
  • We also test acquired knowledge with good questioning skills.

Let’s take a look at how we can develop them with class resources like the ones that follow. Begin with the Essential Questions Guides from us here at the Global Digital Citizen Foundation. They are full of wonderful tips and tools on how to build and assess your very best essential questions.

Hunting English has this piece about 10 Questioning Techniques you’ll find interesting. A few examples are:

  • Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce—The teacher will pose a question, pause for a long time to let the question sink in, then call on a random student (pounce) for the answer. Then the answer will be bounced to another student so they can expand upon the first student’s response.
  • Here’s the answer, what’s the question?—It’s just like Jeopardy. You say “1776,” and students have to ask a question that will have “1776” as the answer. Not surprisingly, there could be any number of questions that fit the bill, all of which could be correct.

Lateral thinking puzzles are also great class starters and really get questioning skills going. There are plenty of lateral thinking puzzle activities at both Rinkworks and Folj.com.

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Other Sites for Developing Questioning Skills

With these resources, you’ll be able to put a little fun into teaching questioning skills to your students. Explore the links below and have fun. A few of these are also available as apps for mobile devices.

  • What If? takes impossible questions from readers and attempts to come up with a scientifically sound answer using physics. Check their archives for some great questions and answers.
  • Thunks is the UK’s take on reader surveys that engage lateral thinking. They do this with thought-provoking questions that make people think differently about everyday things.
  • Choicemap is an iOS app that gets you to really think about problems in your life that need solid decisions.
  • 25 Essential Questions features a list that is randomly generated every day.
  • Unstuck is a great tool for helping you with those stuck moments. It’s a digital coach that shows you situations with fresh perspective. It uses provocative questions, tips, and action tools to move you forward.
  • Mind Tools is a website that has an extensive toolkit for all kinds of thinking skills. Explore everything from decision-making to leadership to stress management and more.
  • RQI is another cool  website with resources for teaching students to ask their own questions.
  • Makeuseof.com has a great list of other apps that help you make decisions collaboratively.



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