Do you struggle with asking your students good science questions that will provoke curiosity while allowing them to further their understanding during science exploration? Asking students the right questions will help them learn more about concepts, even if they lack background knowledge on the subject matter. Learn about three types of questions to ask your students during every science lesson.
Types of Science Questions for Kids
To elicit conversation with your students and determine their level of understanding, improve your questioning skills by including these types of questions during your science lessons. Three types of questions to ask during a science lesson include probing, follow-up, and pressing.
#1 Science Question: Probing Questions
Probing questions have students talk about their observations, thinking, or past experiences. These types of questions will have your science students give you as much information about their ideas and experiences as possible. Use this strategy in your science classroom by having students give you as many details as possible to continue a classroom conversation and solidify learning.
Types of Probing Questions:
- What did you notice happening (before, during, or after) the experiment?
- Did you think that was going to happen?
- Have you had any experiences that relate to this topic?
#2 Science Question: Follow Up Questions
Have you ever asked your class a question and gotten that oddball response that leaves you wondering where in the world did that come from? Instead of brushing it off politely, ask that student follow-up questions to help make sense of their line of thinking. Often, once students are given a further opportunity to make connections between their statement and line of thinking, their response will make sense, and it will be connected to the concept.
Types of Follow-up Questions:
- Can you tell me more about that?
- Try to explain / describe what you are thinking in a different way?
- What do you mean by that?
#3 Science Question: Pressing Questions
Another type of questioning technique to use with your students is pressing questions. This form of questioning will have science students reason further about their thought process. When asking your students pressing questions, do not allow them to make short-cuts by saying “you know?” or have unsupported claims.
Types of pressing questions:
- Why do you think that?
- What evidence do you have for the claim?
- Can you give me an example of that?
- When would this hold true?
Pressing for more evidence:
- What makes you think that?
- How did you arrive at that conclusion?
- What evidence do you have?
- How does your idea support the claim?
Science questions to further a conversation:
- How can you further explain that?
- What connects your thinking?
Thinking about variables:
- What could make a different outcome?
- Would we see something different if…?
Finally, adding these types of questions to your science lesson should help to improve student thinking and analysis skills. As students further develop their skills to analyze, they will become better scientists.
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