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Helping Kids Develop Good Questions

By December 11th, 2023No Comments

It’s important to teach kids how to ask good questions regardless of whether they are planning an investigation or just seeking to learn more about a particular topic.

Asking good questions is an important skill.  Generally, when students develop their own questions, they often lack a clear question or a well-defined problem.  This causes issues when they move to designing their investigation.  Because of an ill-defined question or problem, kids struggle to know how to structure their investigation and what type of data to collect.

But teaching kids how to ask good questions is a difficult task.  As adults, we use many acronyms to guide out thinking (like creating SMART goals).  As you work with students to develop good questions, encourage them to make their question a STRIPE question:


The question should be as specific as possible.  It should be focused and have a well-defined scope


The question should be feasible and able to be answered through observation or experimentation


The question should focus on something that is widely useful or valuable in some way.  It should produce information that will be helpful to you, your community or society as a whole.


The question should be objective and free from bias or personal opinion

Predicts outcomes

The question should make an educated guess (hypothesis) based on evidence about what will happen in the future.  These outcomes are usually based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships

Encompasses a variable

The question should lend itself to include at least one variable that can be manipulated or measured.  (These variables may not be directly stated in the question.)

Using this strategy will help students to construct (and ask) better questions that they can answer through empirical methods like designing tests and investigations.

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