How’s your higher-order thinking question asking skills?

When we want to find out about something, the type of question we ask will affect how much – and what – we learn about something.

In PYP, we look at eight different types of questions.

  1. Form
  2. Function
  3. Change
  4. Causation
  5. Connection
  6. Perspective
  7. Responsibility
  8. Reflection

We can sort these questions out into three categories. Easy, Just Right and Challenging.

EASY – The answers are easily checked to be right or wrong

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JUST RIGHT – these questions provide answers that need some kind of observation, and need interpreting. There is usually more than one right answer to these questions. You may feel you want to discuss your answers with others to see what they think.

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CHALLENGING – these types of questions need some deep thinking to make sense of the answers. There is more than one right answer, and these answers may lead to discussions and debates that will help people see things from different perspectives (You might want to use the Six Thinking Hats to help you discuss and debate well).

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.03.43 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.03.55 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 8.04.05 AM


To Summarize

To learn the basics ask Form and Function questions.

To learn more, ask Causation, Change and Connection questions, as well as Form and Function.

To learn the most ask Perspective, Reflection and Responsibility questions, as well as Causation, Change, Connection, Form and Function.


very bright



Look at the last set of questions you planned to find answers to during a research project. Can you figure out which types of questions you were asking? How can you improve?

(All Images taken from the IB “Making the PYP happen’ Guide)

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