Today we are going to learn more about those pesky WH questions. Scroll to the bottom for a video on a fun Thanksgiving themed WH question activity.
First, What are Wh- Questions?
Second, Why are Wh- Questions important?
- Asking wh-questions may promote the development of children’s vocabulary and verbal reasoning skills, because these questions require children to provide more complex verbal responses.
- It is important that children ask and answer Wh-questions, as they lay the groundwork for children to participate in conversations, demonstrate knowledge, and collect information about themselves and their world.
Now, try the thankful, turkey hand activity:
- Have your child place their hand on a sheet of paper with their fingers spread apart. Trace around your child’s hand and each finger. With different color markers have your child write/tell you to write things they are thankful for on each finger. When they are finished with five things they are thankful for, start a conversation with them and have them reflect on their responses.
For example, your child is thankful for their dog; you can respond with:
- Why are you thankful for your dog?
- How does your dog make you happy?
- What are some things your dog does during the day?
- Where do you play with your dog?
- Who does the dog belong to?
- When do you play with your dog?
- When does your dog sleep?
Try working on WH questions throughout the day…When driving in the car, point out things you both see on the road. “What color is the stop sign? What does it mean when the light turns green? Where do you think those cars are going? How many red cars do you see? Who is driving that big black truck? Why do people have different license plates? Etc.” Create an open ended conversation with your child using all of the wh- question words.
Avoid closed ended questions that result in yes/no responses from your child. Open ended questions allow your child to describe and narrate things to you and increases their expressive language skills.
For an extra challenge, draw your own thankful turkey hand and have prompt your child to ask YOU wh- questions about what you are thankful for. This increases your child’s language skills in conjunction with conversation skills.
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