How asking purposeful questions can be an effective communication tool in the preschool classroom!

Now that the children have settled into our morning routine, it is time to introduce the children to our Question of the Day board. The top goals of our Q and A routine are to inspire action, promote conversation, and build critical thinking and decision-making skills. Here are five tips for how we go about doing that.

Are your questions inspiring the children?

Tip 1: Build a Connection

Every day before school, we take a few minutes to think and talk about what question we want to add to our board. Instead of just tossing out any old question, we think about how we can use the question to connect with a book we are reading or something the children have been focused on during the week. For example, we read the book “The Apple Pie Tree” by Zoe Hall so as a lead into our book we asked, “Have you ever made an apple pie?”

Tip 2: Inspire Action

An action question inspires the children to do something like jump, hunt for a square, or make a face. An example would be “Can you roar louder than a lion?” or “Do you see any circles in this room?”

Tip 3: Promote Conversation

Conversational questions tap into something the children often have prior experience with so that they can and will want to share that experience with the class. To inspire conversation, the questions have to be meaningful to the children. An example would be, “Have you ever been to an apple orchard?” or “Do you have any pets at your house?”

Tip 4: Build Critical Thinking and Decision-Making Skills

Ask questions that will lead the children to actually stop to think for a second then make their own decision. For example, a question like, “Do you know what it means to be allergic?” or “Do you think a green light means go?”

Tip 5: Avoid Tricky Questions

You might be tempted to ask abstract or trick questions at times but if the children cannot understand or connect with the questions, your questions will not actually inspire conversation or action. For example, don’t ask “Do you think a green light means stop?” This may seem easy enough, but it can confuse the children and cause them to worry about being right or wrong. You want to build the children’s confidence to make a decision and to answer the question, so be sure to keep it simple.


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