This week I had an opportunity to teach live in a classroom using my Elvis book. Soooo fun! Oh how I miss teaching! Anyway, I want to give you a tip for working with kids on asking questions. One of the things that we talked about was the fact that Graceland was Elvis’ home, but that now it is a museum and that people can buy a ticket and go in and see Elvis’ house.

So…I have a worksheet where students write a letter to Lisa Marie, and they ask Lisa Marie some questions. One student wrote down, “Is Graceland a museum?” I said to him, “John Doe, is Graceland a museum?” He said “Yes it is.” So I responded, “Since you already know the answer to that, let’s think of something you do not know. We want to learn something new that we did not know. We want to ask a question that Lisa Marie would know the answer to.”

Through conversation we determined that we don’t know what is actually in the museum, and would like to know that. So then he worked on shifting his thinking to writing questions about what he would like to know. I coached him through that.

This is a common issue. I see it all the time.  What I think is happening, is that they don’t truly understand the purpose of questioning.  Many of them know what the format for asking questions is, but the concept that we ask to find out something we want to know is not always there.

Have you experienced this? I thought I would highlight this issue so that you notice it with your own child or students. Thoughts?