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  • Explore how and why we ask questions

  • Create a list of questions about a topic that interests you

THIS WEEK

We’re thinking about the question: “How can we ask, improve, and plan to investigate questions that are meaningful to us?”

Your challenge this week is to create a “Quest Map” that describes how and why you will explore your big, curious question.

DAY 1 ACTIVITY

Building Questioning Skills

15-20 Minutes

ASKING QUESTIONS INQUIRY

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(CLICK TO EXPAND)

Why do we ask questions?

We ask questions for many reasons!


  • Sometimes we NEED to know the answer.

  • Other times, we are just curious!


Today, we are going to explore different kinds of questions and how to ask them.

Sesame Street: Questions (Tracy Chapman)

As you watch the Sesame Street video, listen for the special words that begin questions. Do you hear these words:


  • Where?

  • When?

  • Who?

  • How?

  • What?

  • Why?


After you listen to a little of the song, can you sing along with those question words?

Learning the question words from the video can help us ask questions.


But there are different kinds of questions that we can ask with those words!


And each kind of question is important in its own way. Let’s explore two different kinds of questions.

Closed-Ended Questions

Sometimes we ask questions that only have one answer.

That answer could be “yes” or “no.” Like for these questions:


  • Do you like ice cream?

  • Do you have a pencil?


Or the answer could be one word. Like for these questions:


  • What color is that?

  • How old are you?


These questions are called closed-ended questions.

Sometimes these questions are very important.


  • Think about a time when you needed a simple answer to a question.

Open-Ended Questions

Sometimes we ask questions that have more than one answer.


They make us wonder and think! 


Questions like:


  • How can I be a good friend?

  • How do animals talk to each other?


These questions are called open-ended questions.

Sometimes these questions are very important to ask.


  • Have you ever thought about how you could be a good friend?

  • Have you ever wondered about why something happened?


These are really important questions!

closed-ended questions: 

questions that have one answer, sometimes just a simple “yes” or “no”


open-ended questions: 

questions that have more than one answer, and make us think and wonder

Now you get to ask questions about something that you are really curious about.


Your question will send you on a journey!

Your challenge this week is to create a “Quest Map” that describes how and why you will explore your big, curious question.


Today, you will think about what you love to do or learn about, then create a list of questions to explore.

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Think about:


  • What do you love to do or learn about?

  • What have you always wondered about?


On a piece of paper, make a list of at least 3 things you are the most curious about. You can also use the “Asking Questions” handout if you like.

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Look at your list of the things you are curious about.


  • Which one of these things excites you the most?

  • On your paper, complete this sentence with what you are the most curious about:

  • I would love to learn about _________________________.

  • This sentence will help you to ask questions!

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Now it’s time to come up with your own questions!


First: Make a list of a lot of questions!


  • Write down or think of as many questions as you can about your sentence: I would love to learn about ___________________________________.

  • Start the timer when you are ready. It will last for 2 minutes. Can you write down at least 5 questions in 2 minutes?

  • Don’t worry about questions being good, just ask as many you can.


Done!


Look at your questions. Are any of your questions open-ended?


  • Remember: Open-ended questions make you think and wonder.

  • If you find an open-ended question, put a little smiley face next to it!

  • Can you find more than one? It’s okay if you’re not sure!


Save your questions for Day 2. They will help you take a journey!

Watch this video to learn more about questioning and following your curiosity! 


"Sesame Street: The Power of Questioning with Super Grover 2.0" video

Ready for Day 2?

On day 2, you will start to plan how you will answer a big, curious question!