Printable Wh-Questions Lesson Plan [PDF Included]

Questions are an integral part of our life. Whether to gain knowledge or just to keep the conversation in flow, questions are super useful and handy. Even the kids who haven’t developed the language yet, babble, or use one-word or two-word speech, just to ask questions. They will point to the object or person and babble or say ‘what’. Asking and answering questions is fundamental to us.        

Asking questions and answering them represents the innate curiosity of kids. To foster and encourage this innate curiosity and strengthen the communication skills of children, it’s crucial to teach young ones wh-questions from a young age. Even in school years, wh-questions are a compulsory part of the elementary school curriculum. Plenty of interactive ways can assist parents and teachers in educating kids about wh-questions, such as wh-questions board games, online games, and activities

However, parents and teachers can also use the wh-question lesson plan to be more formal and creative in their approach. It is a comprehensive lesson plan that wonderfully presents the key aspects of wh-questions and the carefully planned activities will ensure the kids properly understand the concept and apply it in their daily communications. 

What does research have to say on the acquisition of Wh-questions for kids? 

In a longitudinal study[1], seven children aged 2-3 years were observed and studied for their language development. The study was based on previous findings of how kids acquire language and aimed to expand the subject matter to other factors contributing to language acquisition in kids. 

Earlier, it was found that kids learn to ask wh-questions, such as what, where, and who, before the wh-questions, like how, why, and when, along with the verbs. Various other studies in acquiring first and second languages confirmed the same sequence. The reason behind the sequence was explained in terms of the abstract thoughts of the kids during their cognitive development. 

However, the current study found three other factors contributing to the mentioned wh-questions sequence and abstract thinking. The factors involve:

  • The syntactic functions of different wh-forms.
  • The selection of verbs in wh-questions.
  • The use of wh-questions in discourse. 

In another study[2], fascinating findings were reported, confirming the association between the quantity of content kids are exposed to and the vocabulary they acquire during their developing years. The study reported that the overall quantity of father talk does not contribute much to the vocabulary and reasoning skills of kids as young as two, but the father putting up the wh-questions does. The study further stated that the kids elicit the verbal response required for building vocabulary and reasoning skills, even when the wh-questions asked by fathers are more frequent and syntactically complex. 

What makes learning Wh- Questions important for kids?

Wh-questions are fundamental to language development and mark a significant milestone in a child’s cognitive growth. As stated above, kids as young as 2 years old begin to explore and actively employ wh-questions, making its acquisition and learning important. Learning why questions are important because- 

  • Wh-questions play a pivotal role in facilitating conversations, helping kids to express their thoughts and emotions with their families and peers. 
  • By asking wh-questions, children demonstrate their ability to understand instructions and follow them accurately. 
  • Wh-questions contribute to vocabulary enrichment, helping children build upon their existing lexicon
  • A solid grasp of wh-questions helps kids learn how to form grammatically and syntactically correct sentences. 
  • Proficiency in wh-questions ensures that children can respond accurately without confusion, as they are able to distinguish between different wh-question words.
  • Engaging in wh-questions indicated that kids are aware of their senses and environment and have knowledge of them. 

Wh-Questions lesson plan: An educational plan to teach kids functions of wh-questions. 

The research mentioned above, and its benefits indicate the importance of wh-questions. As crucial as Wh-questions are, their functions can be confusing for little learners to comprehend. Among many similar-looking wh-words, differentiating one from another and using the correct wh-word in specific contexts can perplex and overwhelm kids. 

Considering the possible challenges kids could face while comprehending wh-questions, we have carefully curated a wh-question lesson plan that is fun, creative, and unique. The lesson plan has been developed to educate kids on different aspects of wh-questions, such as their functions, the context they are used in, the meaning of each wh-questions, and so on, ensuring an effective learning experience. 

The wh-question lesson plan is based on the following objectives- 

  • To let children identify “wh” questions. 
  • To understand the use of each question word. 
  • To be able to form simple “wh” questions. 

The lesson plan begins with a brainstorming activity. The brainstorming activity is a great way to set the pace of learning and prepare kids for the main content. The activity involves kids brainstorming different question words they use while asking the questions or having conversations in their daily lives. Once kids can list up some words, bring their attention to their spellings and emphasize why those words are called wh-words. 

The lesson plan further represents a detailed and colorful chart where functions and examples of each wh-word are given. The chart is beautifully designed to be clear yet comprehensive. The chart can act as a framework for the next warm-up activity the lesson plan entails or the future wh-questions learning. 

The warm-up activity can be done at home and school, both. Parents or educators must encourage kids to converse with their family members or peers. Ask them about their schedule, preferences, likes, dislikes, or anything that comes to mind. Further, encourage kids to emphasize the wh-words during conversations with family members and peers. 

Now that we are done with setting a strong base let’s move towards thoughtfully designed activities for little learners to assist them in grasping the meanings and functions of each wh-question. 

Activity 1: 

Before beginning the activity, ensure that kids are comfortable with the previous content of the lesson plan, only then begin with the activity. The activity involves functions of each wh-word written on a sheet. Kids must read the function and identify which wh-word is used for that specific function. 

Activity 2: 

This activity is a great way to put the kid’s learnings of wh-words to use. It will help teach kids how different wh-words are used and which word is appropriate for which context. 

A chart is given, where different wh-words are written. Kids have to form the questions using that wh-word. A wonderful activity to educate kids about the functions and applicability of wh-words. 

Bottom line 

In the world of communication, words like ‘What, when, why, how, who, where, etc.’ are indispensable. These words strengthen our vocabulary, speaking skills, grammar, and other necessary language-related skills. The well-drafted lesson plan for young kids can help educate and familiarize them with the crux of wh-questions. It is an easy-to-use plan that can be used in schools as well as homes. You can also supplement the plan with other resources to make the most of it.


  1. Bloom, L., Merkin, S., & Wootten, J. (1982). “Wh”-Questions: Linguistic Factors That Contribute to the Sequence of Acquisition. Child Development, 53(4), 1084–1092.
  2. Rowe, Meredith & Leech, Kathryn & Cabrera, Natasha. (2016). Going Beyond Input Quantity: Wh-Questions Matter for Toddlers’ Language and Cognitive Development. Cognitive science. 41 Suppl 1. 10.1111/cogs.12349.

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