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How can I improve the quality of students' questions?

Questions: A Closer Look

Work with your students, and have them work each other, to form stronger questions. Students will learn a lot through collaboration and competition with each other to produce the best questions.

Inspire students to move ever deeper into Bloom's Taxonomy by generating the following kinds of questions:
  • Creative questions: Why do we call it Germany instead of Deutschland?
  • Deep questions: What good was the Cold War?
  • Sensory questions: What's the best word to describe the texture of a pear?
  • Thought questions: If Saturday were a place, what would it look like?
  • Historical questions: Why do people want to build empires?
  • Future questions: What will my town look like in twenty years?
  • Global questions: Why does over half of the U.S. population live by coasts?
  • Metaphorical questions: How is a cell like the solar system?
  • SCAMPER questions: How can I get two or more results from this system?
  • Socratic questions: What are we assuming in this argument?

For even more great questions, check out the inside back cover of the Inquire Middle School Student Handbook.


Stay curious. Curiosity helps you question, explore, and discover. But don’t stop there. Often when you grab onto an answer, you get another fistful of questions. Here are some questions that can kick off your inquiry:

  • If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
  • What would happen if money didn’t exist?
  • What would your ideal city look like?
  • If there were two of you, where would the other one be?
  • What does it mean to have a misunderstanding?
  • How would your autobiography begin?
  • What will the Internet be like in a hundred years?
  • What does it mean to listen?
  • How would you describe your school to someone from another country?
  • What do you wonder about?
  • What do you wish you could do better?
  • What does it mean to use common sense?
  • What is the biggest problem you ever solved?
  • What color is happiness and why?
  • How is a picture worth a thousand words?
  • How would you define creativity?
  • What was your most memorable day?
  • If you were to make a film, what would it be about?
  • Why are people comforted by campfires?
  • Could computers ever become self-aware?
  • In the “word cloud” of your thoughts, what words would be biggest?
  • Explain this quotation: “The person who makes no mistakes makes nothing.”
  • Should humans visit other planets?
  • How is defining a problem half way to solving it?
  • What project from Inquire would you like to do most?