English is a fascinating subject where you can actively experiment with new words, combine different words each time for the same sentence, and whatnot. A key ingredient for this fascinating experiment is wh-questions: What, when, why, where, who, and how.
Wh-questions are fundamental to both oral and written language. It helps effectively carry out the conversations, making sense of them and the world around us. Wh-questions allow one to express oneself since these questions cannot be answered in a yes/no format but only in long forms.
In this post, we have explained some fun and engaging wh-question activities that are easy, entertaining, and a wonderful way of teaching kids wh-questions and their importance. These activities will also improve other skills of children, such as interpersonal communication, reading, writing, active listening, etc.
You can also modify these activities per your student’s needs and convenience. Keep reading to know the details of the activities.
Fun wh-question activities for kids to enjoy
Some interesting and fun-filled wh-question activities for young minds are discussed below.
1. Identify me if you can
While kids are beginning school or taking their reading and comprehension skills to the next level, wh-question activities are a great way to assist children. ‘Identify me if you can’ is a great activity to teach children some wh-questions and improve their vocabulary.
Material required –
- Chits with some words written on them, such as any object, animal, person, time, etc.
This activity can be best played in the classroom, where teachers can divide the children into pairs. One member of each pair will pick one chit and will form a wh-question that is relevant to the word. For instance, the chit has the word ‘breakfast’ written. The children with the chit have to form a question, such as What is the morning meal called? The other child in the pair will have to guess the word written on the chit based on the asked question.
For the next round, another child in the pair will pick a chit and repeat the process. Each pair will take an average of 2-3 minutes. Hence the activity can easily be completed in 45-60 minutes, even with a class of large strength.
2. Read a book with me!
Books are more likely to become children’s best friends in their developing years. So, why not utilize them to teach kids some wh-questions basic? ‘Read a book with me’ is a classroom activity the teacher can facilitate, and every student can play it simultaneously. It is also a great activity to improve the listening skills of children.
Material required –
- Books/ story passages/ magazines
Provide a paper to every child and ask them to stay prepared with their pens and papers. Instruct the children not to write anything until instructed. First, the teacher will narrate a short story or a passage to the children, which children will tentatively listen to. Now that children have listened to the story ask them to write as many wh-questions as possible based on the story or passage. To make the activity more challenging, a time limit can be introduced.
Alternatively, instead of the teacher narrating the story, children can read the book or a story for at least 10 minutes and then formulate the questions. Educators can also use shared reading books for ease of both students and teachers.
3. Fun with pictures
Learning through imagery ensures a child thoroughly understands the concept and has something to relate to. Fun with pictures is an engaging activity to help children understand the different wh-questions and how they are applied in real-life. It is a fun activity that can be played in classrooms and at home.
- Images of any object or scene.
Right! All you need is images you can access, and you are set to facilitate this activity. Teachers can divide the classroom into three groups for smooth execution of the activity. Now, show the image to the children and put up some Wh-questions from that image.
For instance, you showed the image of a tiger sitting in the forest. You can ask questions like where is the tiger sitting? What is the location called? And so on. Whichever group answers fast and most of the questions will win.
You can also use complex images if dealing with grown-up kids. Now, if you are a parent, you can show the picture to your kid and ask him the wh-questions.
4. Find me and Correct me!
Playing with words is indeed intriguing and engaging. Learning and experimenting with new words can improve kids’ reading and writing skills and add to their existing vocabulary. Find Me and correct me emphasizes improving crucial reading comprehension skills in a fun manner.
- Printed passage on a sheet.
- pen/ pencil
To conduct this activity, teachers have to prepare a passage or short story in advance, where the statements related to wh-questions will be incorrectly written. For instance, instead of writing ‘Where are you from’, educators can purposefully write inaccurately, like, ‘What are you from’. The errors have to be only in wh-words for this activity.
Educators can provide a sheet to every child in the classroom and will ask them to identify the mistake and correct it with the right wh-word. It is a highly brain-stimulating activity that requires the identifying incorrect words and knowledge of wh-words to replace the in-accurate word with an accurate one. To make the activity more challenging, a time limit can be used.
5. Story making
Stories are a significant part of our lives. From the lovely bedtime stories to our daily life experiences, we all have plenty of stories to tell and listen to. This activity utilizes the story-telling skills of children and using it teaches the wh-questions, and further refines the story-telling skills of children.
- Visual prompts or words written on cards
This classroom activity can be played with one child at a time. The educator will show a visual prompt or any word on a card to a child, and the child will form a story from the prompts. The only condition is that the statements of the story should be in wh-questions format. It is a fun activity that will not only entertain the children but will stimulate the thought process of the children.
The educator will present one prompt at a time and can present at least ten prompts to a single kid. As the prompts are presented, the kid will keep formulating the story based on those prompts by only using wh-questions.
6. It’s time to open up about yourself
The developing years are a great time to foster social and communication skills among children. This activity will not only teach kids the importance of wh-questions but will also teach children the importance of interpersonal skills.
The activity can easily be carried out in the classroom. The educator can make pairs of children to ensure every child can participate in the activity. One child from the pair will share a personal story or anything about himself with the other kid. Based on the shared experience, the other kid will put up at least five wh-follow-up questions. Once answered all the questions, the roles will be reversed, and now the other kid will share some personal story or experience.
It is a great way to teach children how to apply wh-questions and simultaneously encourage them to open up with others, resulting in improved interpersonal skills and relationships.
7. My kind of introduction- it’s Wh introduction!
Bringing a little creativity to regular things adds a spark to them. Introductions are important but can be boring at times. This activity will add tons of fun and spark to our regular and boring introductions.
This activity is highly suitable for the first day of school, where introductions play a significant role and are compulsory. The rule is simple. Introduce yourself but only through wh-questions. For instance, instead of saying, ‘My name is Mary’, children can say, ‘What do you think, why my name is Mary? Encourage children to speak at least five statements in this format only.
It will make the boring introductions fun and engaging. It is also a great way to teach children wh-questions and how they can be used in different situations.
8. Make questions out of jumbled words
Puzzles and riddles are every child’s favorite part-time. Children can spend hours solving puzzles and riddles. Let’s bring this engaging activity into classrooms and twist it a little to make it educational. This activity will teach children the formation of wh-questions.
- Small chits with words written on them.
This classroom activity can be best played in a group, where teachers can make groups of 5-6 children. For this activity, educators will write sentences on a piece of paper in large fonts. Now cut each word of a sentence. Similarly, make at least 30-40 sentences and cut them each. Ensure that the sentences are in wh-questions format only. Also, don’t mix up the words of all sentences together.
Now, provide at least jumbled words of 4-5 sentences to each group and ask the children to form a sentence out of it. It will be fun to see how children develop new sentences and simultaneously learn the wh-questions.
9. Role-playing questions
Pretend play has a significant role in our development. We all have pretended to be someone else in childhood and acted like them. Haven’t we? Well, it’s really fun and a great activity to teach children the role of key persons or events in daily life, such as police officers, fire control officers, etc. This activity will, of course, also teach children wh-questions.
- Chits with different roles written on them
Teachers have to prepare the role chits in advance for this classroom activity. Teachers can make a pair of students for this activity. One child from a pair will pick the chit and pretend to be the person written on that chit, let’s say a police officer. Now the other child will behave like a normal citizen and ask wh-questions from the other person. Remember, the questions should be related to the child’s role and not random questions.
Further, the other child in the pair will role-play according to the chit. This is a great way to teach wh-questions and help them understand the roles of key figures around us.
10. Match me, please!
A very simple yet effective classroom activity with tons of benefits. Match me, please! is a little twisted version of the regular match the following with a sole emphasis on wh-questions.
- Match the following worksheets
For this activity, teachers have to prepare a match in the following worksheet, where on the left-hand side, some wh-questions will be written with missing wh-words. The missing wh-word will be written on the right side, all jumbled up. It is an easy activity where children have to match the wh-word with the sentences.
Now here comes the interesting part of the activity. Make a group of children of 7-8 students for this activity. Ensure there are at least 14-16 questions on each worksheet. Ask children to sit vertically in a row, just behind each other. Provide the worksheet to the child sitting in the front. Each child will complete one match of the following and pass it to the student sitting behind him. It will enable every child to play at least 2 times. Whichever group completes all the questions correctly and quickly will win.
Wh-questions are a great way to facilitate conversations, strengthen interpersonal skills, boost critical thinking, and enhance the existing vocabulary of children. Wh-questions also feed a child’s innate curiosity and promote reasoning skills. There are several ways to teach children the wh-questions and their importance and activities are one of them.
Activities are a fun way to teach children unique and challenging skills while keeping them entertained and amused. Activities are also a great ice-breaker and more than just regular activities. They are crucial for a child’s overall development and learning of necessary life skills. So, go ahead and pick your favorite wh-question activity and enjoy it with your little learners.