Why use ‘I Wonder’ questions you may ask? The answer is simple; we want our children to explore, be curious and think deeply about the world around them. One way we can do this is to model the use of ‘I Wonder…’ questions. Children imitate adults and so when we explore, question and show curiosity children will emulate this for themselves.
Practitioners who model being a thinker, encourage children to think and question for themselves. When practitioners demonstrate curiosity, that they are bewildered, baffled or perplexed by something, they will no doubt spark the same sense of curiosity and interest in the children. Wondering out loud can encourage the children to do the same!
I wonder questions expose children to the creative process of thinking. When a child and a practitioner share in this two-way ‘I wonder’ conversation, they encourage sustained shared thinking, showing that there are a number of ways of doing things and considering the various solutions. This shared curiosity invites children to think about where they can find their solutions, who or what they need to help them. Key to the success of this process is time. Practitioner’s must not rush the child to find the solution, but give them space and time to think, discuss, and talk.
Our nursery curriculum places creativity and art at the centre of its practice, and encouraging children to use the plan-do-review processes can assist them in deeper-level thinking, planning and expressing their thoughts and ideas. Use open-ended questions to encourage children to consider what they need, how they might create and to reflect on their work when they have finished. Encouraging peers to offer suggestions and help along the way can build confidence and express their opinions.
For parents who want to use ‘I Wonder’ questions more frequently at home with their children, see our examples below. They may be the key to sparking your child’s curiosity!
- I wonder what will happen if…?
- I wonder how we could make…?
- I wonder why that happened?
- I wonder why that didn’t work?
- I wonder who we could ask to help us?
- I wonder where that might be?
- I wonder how many we will need?