“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein
There are so many questions to ask and so many questions to answer. You might ask for example, “Why is asking a question important?” Well, think about it. Asking a question is a form of speech that connects us with ourselves, each other and the world in which we live. Imagine a life without questions. In this imagined life, you would only speak in statements. I think. I see. I want. I need. You would be speaking only in affirmations of facts. The sky is blue today. Without questions, we would have little curiosity to know more. Asking questions is a sign of curiosity. Without questions, we would not share nearly as much. Look at Asking Questions to see grammatically how questions are formed.
How do…? What if…? Will it….? When will…? Don’t forget question marks!
Activity 1 – Ask questions of yourself
Do you remember the first question you ever asked of yourself? Was it what will I wear? Was it what will I eat? Was it where will I go this weekend? Was it how will I fix this? Was it how can I explain what just happened? Asking questions in many ways starts with our ability to ask questions of ourselves. What DO we think about? As you ask questions of yourself, you will learn more about yourself. The better you know who you are, the more you will understand your strengths and weaknesses and what you like and dislike. The more questions you ask of yourself, the more you can challenge yourself. You will better understand cause and effect as in “why did I sleep so late?”
Write yourself a series of question that you would like answered…about yourself. Some answers you may already know. Some answers may take time to know. Asking yourself questions can become boring to some of us who are socially more active or inquisitive about the world.
If this sounds like you…ask on!
Activity 2 – Ask questions of others
Each year is a new school year. There are many new people to meet at school. Make a list of questions (by yourself or with your classmates) to ask of each other to get to know each other. Here are some possible questions:
Where are you from?
Where were you born?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Do you have any pets?
How long have you lived here?
Do you play a musical instrument?
Do you like to play soccer?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
What is the song you are listening to most?
What book are you reading?
Where did you go over summer?
**Make your own list and find answers to all of them by asking people in your class.
Include your teacher(s)!
Activity 3 – Above and Beyond Questions
Who, what, when and where questions are by and large answered with facts and information recalled or remembered by the answerer. Why and how questions expand the power of asking and require explanation and evaluation from the responder. Questions continue on in their complexity. For instance, asking someone to describe a person, place or thing opens the answerer to explain, interpret and/or demonstrate. You may ask questions that require analysis, comparison and contrast. You may also be asked to predict, imagine and envision ideas. And eventually you will be asked to pass judgment, have an opinion, assess statements and evaluate ideas. These questions are more difficult to answer and more open to diverse responses. It is important to have opportunities to answer more difficult questions that require thoughtfulness, reflection and experience. Of course, honesty is the best policy as in, “I don’t know!”
Activity 4 – Just Ask questions!!!!!!!!
Well. What are you waiting for? Ask somebody a question!!! If you do not have anyone near you, pickup the phone an call your library. You can ask a librarian any question and they will try to find the answer for you. Try calling your public library. Try calling the Chicago Public Library Answer Hot line. The number is 312-747-4300. Or go to a computer and Google it! The world is ready to answer your question. Are you ready to ask one?
Activity 5 – Open and Closed Questions
Closed questions are questions with definitive answers. For example, which is faster: the speed of light or the speed of sound? Open questions have the potential to have lots of answers. For example, which animal is faster? This answer depends on whether you are talking about animals in the air, on land, or in the water. When does the sun rise in the morning? Your answer will depend upon your location on the earth. Other examples of open questions are opinion, interpretation, and evaluation questions. Do you think the President is doing a good job? Do you think gasoline is too expensive? Do you think playing video games is a productive use of your time? Most of us use both open and closed questioning in learning about the world and from others. Write five examples of each question. Ask the questions to people you know. Record the answers. Which type of questions had more different responses?
- What is a closed question?
- Make this statement into a question: I am creative.
- "Why" questions are answered with....
- Should you ask another question after a "yes" or "no" question?
- A person who asks a question is a
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