There are different types of questions in the English language. Some are easier to answer, such as a yes/no question (“do you want a cookie?” and  “is this red?”), a choice question (“do you want an apple or an orange?”), frequently asked questions, or fill-in-the-blank type questions. However, others can be more difficult to answer, such as open-ended wh-questions (e.g., what happened? why? how?) that require a child to answer with a longer explanation.

The first developmental questions that a child learns to ask and answer are what, who, and where questions. For some children, wh-questions can be difficult to answer (and very difficult to ask). Learning how to answer questions is important because this how we participate in conversations and share our knowledge about things we have learned and about our world.

We can strengthen a child’s ability to answer wh-questions by
• reading books and asking questions
• using pictures of scenes (kids playing, family eating) from a magazine, movie, the internet and asking questions about the picture

Remember to balance asking questions with making comments.  Parents often have many questions about questions! 

Activities and resources

WH Sentence Builder Template

Tips on using wh-questions while reading a story

Example of picture scene and wh-questions

Pictured scenes for wh-questions

Printable wh-question worksheets

Activities for wh-questions

Winter scenes for wh-questions

What questions with multiple choice pictures

What questions with pictures

What questions for functions

“What Do You Do With…” activity

Who questions bingo

Where questions bingo

Where questions with multiple choice pictures

When questions bingo

When Questions Game

Why questions flashcards