Questioning is an important part of the learning process for all students.  Good questions can be used to help students develop higher-level thinking skills.  It’s important not only to ask students more in-depth, open-ended questions, but also to encourage them to ask these types of questions during their own learning process.

Here are links to sites that offer ideas for good, open-ended questions that can be adapted to a variety of grade levels and subject areas:

Socratic Questions and Taxonomy of Socratic Questions are twos sites that give examples of the kinds of questions that Socrates used with his own students.  In an effort to make Socratic Questioning more usable by teachers, Dr. Richard Paul of the Center of Critical Studies, identified six types of Socratic Questions:  Questions to clarify what the other person means;  Questions to probe assumptions;  Questions to investigate the logic, reasons and evidence the other person’s using;  Questions examining viewpoints and perspectives;  Questions to investigate implications and consequences;  and Questions to get to the root of the other person’s questions.  The examples on these two sites are organized according to these types.

Socratic Seminars is a site that provides an outline for carrying out a Socratic Seminar.   The Seminar is based on the reading of an assigned text followed by a dialogue with students based on four types of questions:  World Connection Question;  Close-Ended Question;  Open-Ended Question;  and Universal Theme / Core Question.  The site also provides student guidelines for a Socratic Seminar.

Developing Mathematical Thinking with Effective Questions is a list of questions created by PBS TeacherLine.  They can modified to use with all areas of math and a variety of grade levels.

Universal Questions for Literature Studies is a generic list of higher-level questions that can be used during a novel study.

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