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Questions that Build Thinking Skills

created by Hilda Taba, based on the work of Piaget

Careful questioning can be used to help students at many different levels and in many different classes progress to higher levels of thinking and understanding. Instructors can plan discussions, moving from a level of simple factual understanding to drawing infereences, applying information to new situations, and eventually to evaluating information. When questioning a group, allow each person to contribute just one response, in order to involve more people.
Level of Question Thinking Skill Sample Questions
Deductive Reasoning Evaluation

Did it work?

How successful was it?

Were the results as predicted?

Inductive Reasoning Application (either hypothetical or actual)

If ....then...?

Suppose that...?

Making generalizations (conceptualization)

What conclusions can you draw?

Drawing inferences about relationships Why do you think...?
Affective Identification

What was your reaction to...?

How did it make you feel...?


What happened?

What do you know about...?

What did you see...?

Factual Understanding Common Experience/Demonstration




Demonstrate what occurred, how to do something, and so on, using props, audio-visual aids, etc.

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