Reception Questioning (development skills)

Researcher: Sarah Bugg: Minchinhampton
Context: Reception / Questioning (development of thinking skills)
Desired Outcomes:
Through the activity “What’s in the box?” – an activity where the children are invited to ask a series of questions to enable them to find out what is in the box – the children will develop their own questioning skills. They will understand what a question is and be able to ask a question. Some children will be able to ask a question which progresses on from a previous question.

Method 1:
Evaluate whether each child in the class can ask a question at the beginning of the project using an activity called, “What’s in the box?” (Baseline) Provide the children with opportunities to experience the activity regularly once or twice a week. Evaluate which children are able to ask questions at the end of the action research using the activity, “What’s in the box?”
Method 2:

Provide the children with opportunities to explore different objects and explore their properties. Evaluate the language they acquire to enrich their questioning skills.


During the first session of “What’s in the box?” 2 children out of a class of 23 children asked a question. During the final session 20 out of 22 children asked a question. One child was absent.
During the final session half the questions (14 out of 28) were questions built on a previous question and 4 children asked a question another child had already asked.
The questions in the final session demonstrated a greater understanding of the properties of objects.

1. With opportunities and practise the children who couldn’t ask a question at the beginning developed the ability to ask simple questions.
2. During the sessions the children have begun to think independently and ask questions to gain information – evaluating what they knew and what they wanted to know next.
3. Enriching the children’s language through exploring objects had an impact on the quality of the children’s questions.

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