The Early Years: Investigable Questionsby: Peggy Ashbrook

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Teachers may not need to teach children to ask questions, just develop that safe place where questions can be voiced, observe children to see the questions in their actions, and develop a culture that appreciates and records questions. An investigable question is rare in the preschool years but with questions so readily voiced, this is the time to begin making children aware of what they can and cannot answer through investigation. The objective of this month’s lesson is to introduce the idea of investigating a question and to investigate how much water is best for mung bean sprout growth through a fair test.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:53 PM

This activity uses mung beans to perform a fair test inquiry based activity. Students are introduced to testable questions. They also learn what makes an experiment fair. Allowing students to ask questions and perform safe experiments based on these questions is an important start to understand what a fair test is. Teacher support is provided in the descriptive article.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon May 02, 2011 10:56 PM

This article discusses the challenges of getting ECE students to ask investigable questions and suggests some strategies to start getting students to rephrase (with teacher support) questions to become investigable. There is a supporting activity where students control for one variable while investigating the growth of a plant.

Kate  (Louisville, CO)
Kate (Louisville, CO)

  • on Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:49 AM

This article gives a quick overview of what a testable question is and how to rephrase a question that is not testable. The article gives some starting ideas about investigable questions, but does not go into a lot of depth. The accompanying standard lesson is about growing beans in various conditions, but does not really talk about questioning.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:02 AM

Children often ask questions to answer their own curiosity, however their questions are not always in a "testable" format. This article discusses the need for a teacher to guide their students in developing testable questions. It also offers one activity on the growth of mung beans seeds (or other quickly growing seed) in which to practice their questions and recording skills. This is a short article but it has some valuable content and the activity is both inexpensive and easy to implement in any classroom.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

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