Therefore, other than just asking a simple WHAT question, for example: “WHAT are three main causes of global warming?” what we could do instead is to have them explain, or paraphrase what they study in class by using words “explain”, “give example”.
In that way, the previous question can be turned into: “ Explain three main causes of global warming? or “Give examples of three main causes of global warming”, which requires students to try harder, take a risk to answer a WHAT question.
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Second, once we have established the WHAT, we can start making connections by asking a series of WHY questions as giving children opportunities to connect the knowledge they obtained to something personal in their lives.
WHY questions are considered difficult for many reasons. One of the reasons is that to answer a “why” question, students need to put themselves out there, think about the reponse and give supporting evidences for their answers, not just repeating the facts.
WHY Question to foster critical thinking for students
Students are expected to question back to teachers “WHY is global warming important to concern about?” “WHY should a child like me care about global warming, not the government?” “ WHY should we pay attention to global warming now, not later?”.
When students find the question relevant and value-creating, they then start asking themselves “Okay, how can I take this information, think about how this could be useful in my everyday life”. There goes the question HOW.