Unit Two: In what ways can questions be used in the classroom?


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The learner will understand the different ways questions can be used to engage students in higher order thinking.



Questioning is a very useful and supportive way to encourage students to use higher order thinking. While watching the videos in this lesson it will be important to pay close attention to the ways in which the teachers and students are using questions to better connect to the elements of higher order thinking, as presented through Bloom's Taxonomy. The chart to the right sows the way in which thinking occurs and the different levels of development. Take a close look at the pyramid chart and then proceed to the videos below.

Click on the following link to view theHigher Level Thinking VideoIn this video there are techniques demonstrated on how teachers can encourage higher level thinking with their students. In the video you will notice that many questions are being used to prompt the students to expand on what they are talking about. There is not just one question, however, but instead there is a series of carefully developed questions designed to increase learning potential and understanding.(Once you have viewed the video carefully simply click the back arrow in the left corner to return to this unit.)

Some important ideas from this video on how to encourage higher level thinking include:

  • Link Prior Knowledge
  • Setting Objectives
  • Student Use proper vocabulary
  • Reinforcing Effort/ Providing Recognition
  • Group Collaborating
  • Students Summarize Their Learning
  • Non-Linguistic Representation
  • Conclusion

Teachers are able to promote higher-order thinking within their students when effective questioning strategies are being used in correspondence with the steps/ideas listed above.

Not only is it useful for teachers to use questions and guide instruction, it is equally important for students themselves to have more control over their own learning to answer questions they may have about a particular topic. The following video shows 12th grade students taking ownership over their learning (Strategies for Student Led Discussion and Questioning Video). Although these are older students, some techniques and ideas from this video can also be easily adapted to suit any other grade level. The main reason this video is important is because it shows how students have different ideas to bring to the table and can add interest and new depth into the learning process. When students have more control over their learning then meaningful and valuable learning is able to take place. Sharing ideas encourages discussion, as well as further exploration with the topic at hand, perhaps even more then the teacher may have ever expected!

(You are encouraged to take notes while watching the videos in this unit to use for the activity that follows)

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Now that you have watched both videos consider the following question:

In what ways can questions be used in the classroom?

Respond to this question in a way that details the many uses of questions when used by the teacher, as well as by student. Also, be sure to include references from both of the videos and elaborate on the ways that you think would be most beneficial to learning, and why, in regards to using questioning strategies in the classroom.


After watching both videos in this unit we now have a much more clear understanding of the ways questions can be used in the classroom to direct student learning. It is important for teachers to take an active role in providing stimulating and thought provoking questions, however, students also need to be given the opportunity to be leaders in their own learning!

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