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Event Details

Audience: Homepage and Homepage
Posted by: Adelaide Thomas
Location: ADVISORY Contact:
Start Time: 7:00 AM End Time: 8:00 AM

Questioning and Posing Problems


It is not just asking questions but seeing the value in asking the right questions. Wanting to understand the why and how and what and when and where of things. Knowing what information you will need to find to answer the questions and developing strategies to find it. Looking for problems to solve. Being sceptical especially when facts are presented without evidence.


Asking questions is the basis of all inquiry. Asking questions is what leads to great discoveries and makes the world a better place. Asking questions is what helps you understand not just know.


Every time you need to know more about a topic. Whenever you face a problem and need to find a solution. When you are presented with new ideas and need to understand them. When you want to exercise your mind.




  1. Use the six starters - Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
  2. Think of questions and then search for ways of finding the answers
  3. Keep a list of good questions you think of or encounter
  4. Have a questioning attitude, enjoy questions, have fun with them, see them as steps on a journey to knowledge
  5. Use 'Thinking Routines' that allow you to find and explore great questions



  1. What makes you ask that? 
  2. What is interesting about this question? Who is it interesting for?
  3. What if . . .?
  4. Was finding the answer too easy? Did you ask the wrong question or did you not understand the question? Is there a bigger question you have missed?
  5. What do you think the answer will look like, sound like, feel like? How will you know you have the answer?

 THINKING ROUTINES FOR Questioning and Posing Problems


  1. Question Starts - Use this strategy to generate good questions and begin to identify and explore those most important to a topic
    1. Brainstorm a list of 12 questions or more about your topic. Use these question starters to help you:
      1. Why...?
      2. How would it be different if...?
      3. What are the reasons...?
      4. Suppose that...?
      5. What if...?
      6. What if we knew...?
      7. What is the purpose of...?
      8. What would change if...?
    2. Review the questions and mark those you find most interesting, share with a friend and discuss 'what makes it an interesting question?'. Reflect on the process and explore ways to investigate your questions.
  2. Creative Questions - A good routine for developing questions and for training your mind to think differently about the type of questions that need to be asked. Use it to generate creative questions to explore by following these steps:
    1. Pick an everyday object or topic and brainstorm a list of questions about it. Transform some of these questions in imaginative questions such as:
      • What would it be like if . . .
      • How would it be different if . . .
      • Suppose that . . .
      • What would change if . . .
      • How would it look different if . . .
    2. Select a question to imaginatively explore. Write a story, draw a picture, invent a scenario, conduct a thought experiment or dramatise a scenario
    3. Reflect on your thinking and the new ideas you have generated. Develop those that seem most useful.
  3. Claim, Support, Question - Use this routine to identify the truth of claims you or others make. Take a claim about the topic and identify support for it; What is it relying on for truth? Ask questions about your claim that explore what isn't explained, what new issues does the claim raise? Useful to use with a friend asking the questions.
  4. 5 Whys - This model of asking 'Why?' five times allows you to dig deeper into a problem. Begin by asking a 'Why' question. Listen to the answer from others or from your self, then ask a 'Why' question that digs deeper into the answer provided. Repeat this process so that you have asked 5 'Why' questions each revealing more information and each at a deeper level of understanding. 
  5. What makes you say that? - A powerful question for encouraging deeper thinking and one that works best when students learn that this question is not an attack on their thinking but is aimed at revealing more detail. Here is a list of similar Questions that Encourage Deeper Thinking.
    1. What makes you say that?
    2. What makes you think that?
    3. How do you know that?
    4. What makes you value that?
    5. What has changed about your thinking?
    6. What changed you mind?
    7. What questions does that raise?
    8. What question would a sceptic ask?
    9. What evidence do you have?
    10. What is the weak point in your argument?
    11. Who would agree with you? - Who would disagree with you?
    12. What do you still need to know?
    13. What else?
    14. What is missing?
    15. Where do you go from here?
    16. What part of the problem is left?
    17. What are you certain about? Why?
    18. What do you understand least?
    19. Can you summarise what X said?
    20. Is Y’s summary accurate, if not, what is inaccurate?