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60 Quick What Questions for Speech Therapy (WH-Questions)

Speech-language pathologists frequently target wh- questions in speech therapy. This article contains 60 what questions for speech therapy that speech pathologists can use during speech therapy sessions. These speech therapy questions contain basic questions and more complex questions. The different questions provided will make it easier to use across your caseload of varying needs and abilities. Working on wh questions is an important skill for language development. Additionally, this blog post discusses why speech pathologists might work on wh questions during speech-language therapy sessions, and suggests some other language targets that can simultaneously be addressed while working on this skill (including vocabulary and grammatical structures). You’re in the right place if you need some quick tips and question lists for therapy! 

This blog post provides 60 what questions for speech therapy that speech-language pathologists can use during a therapy session.

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Why Work on WH Questions in Speech Therapy

It is very common to work on WH questions in order to increase receptive and expressive language skills.

Why do speech pathologists work on wh-questions in speech therapy? There are many reasons!

​There’s a high likelihood that children will get asked wh questions all day, no matter what environment they’re in! Since this is such a common type of question asked, it’s important that children are able to answer so they can participate during classroom discussions or while socializing with peers.

WH questions can encourage students to think a little more deeply about a variety of topics. Understanding wh question words impacts comprehension skills. 

Targeting wh questions helps encourage language development of grammatical structures. For example, you might ask a child a ‘what’ question that encourages him to answer using a past tense verb. Asking “What did you do yesterday?” might elicit a response such as, “I played soccer.” 

Likewise, vocabulary skills can be addressed using wh-questions. While reading a story, the speech pathologist might ask questions such as, “What do you think this word means?” Learning new vocabulary definitions (especially while focusing on tier II words) can be a great way to help increase receptive and expressive language abilities.

WH Questions and Language Skills

Receptive language skills can be addressed while targeting wh-questions in speech therapy. Focusing on listening comprehension tasks is one fun way to do this.

For example, your student will listen to a short story that is read aloud, then respond to wh-questions by pointing or answering verbally.

Need a receptive language goal idea? Check out the linked article for 34 goal ideas! 

While targeting expressive language skills, speech pathologists might prompt children to ask their own wh-questions about a picture scene or scenario. Check out this helpful resource that targets both answering and asking wh questions in speech therapy.

A speech-language pathologist might target what questions for speech therapy in an individual or small group setting.

Typical Questions Targeted in Speech Therapy

There are different types of wh questions that speech-language pathologists might address in speech therapy, including “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how”.

SLPs might also work on asking and answering yes/no questions in therapy, as well as open-ended questions (i.e. “What do you like to do for fun?”) and conversational questions (i.e. “What did you play at recess today?”).

This 6-poster set may provide helpful visuals for wh-questions words in speech therapy. 

Basic Questions

Speech pathologists might work on basic questions before addressing more complex questions. 

Basic questions might include asking wh questions such as:

  • Who is that?
  • What is that?
  • Where is the ball?
  • When is your birthday?
  • Why are you mad?
  • How do you turn on the tv?

Real objects might also be used when initially teaching wh-questions. This is a really great starting point for children with a severe speech-language delay.

Both young children and older children working on basic wh questions may benefit from a visual cue or visual answer choices to help select the correct response. 

leveled resource can be very effective when working with students at different levels. Picture choices and faded prompts and cues may be beneficial.

Complex Questions

A speech therapist might address complex questions once a student is ready.

Complex questions might be asked after listening to information, reading short stories, or reading non-fiction texts.

Some examples of complex wh-questions might include:

  • Who were the main characters in the story?
  • What was the problem in the story?
  • Where is the world’s largest desert? 
  • When did the Industrial Revolution occur?
  • Why did the main character in the story decide to…?
  • How did the author use evidence to support his claims about…?

Complex questions are admittedly more difficult and may require a greater knowledge of vocabulary and sentence structure. These skills all contribute to the comprehension of text and information. 

As you know, there are different types of questions, and students might get confused and answer incorrectly. 

While learning how to answer difficult questions, students may still need visual images or some sort of visual support to remind them of the specific wh question type.  

An example might be pairing a calendar or a watch with the wh question word ‘when’, or a box to represent the word ‘what’. These reminders may help students provide the appropriate response to a specific type of question and can be faded from the session later on.

​What Questions for Speech Therapy

Here are 60 what questions for speech therapy that could be used during your speech therapy session. The easiest questions are listed earliest, and the what questions get more challenging as the list continues. These favorite wh questions can be used with students across your caseload. 

Be sure to bookmark this post to easily access these free wh questions in the future.

  1. What is this?
  2. What do you use this for?
  3. What does this do?
  4. What color is this?
  5. What shape is this?
  6. What is this made of?
  7. What noise or sound does this make?
  8. What is your name?
  9. What is your favorite color?
  10. What is your favorite animal?
  11. What is your favorite food?
  12. What do you like to do for fun?
  13. What is your favorite game to play?
  14. What do you like to do with your family?
  15. What do you want to be when you grow up?
  16. What is your favorite show?
  17. What is your favorite movie?
  18. What is your favorite book?
  19. What is your favorite subject in school?
  20. What is one thing you learned last year?
  21. What song do you like the best?
  22. What is your favorite season?
  23. What is your favorite holiday?
  24. What did you do this weekend?
  25. What do you like to learn about?
  26. What did you eat for breakfast?
  27. What did you eat for lunch?
  28. What do you do to help out at home?
  29. What do you like to do to help out your teacher?
  30. What did you do at recess?
  31. What is your favorite thing to draw?
  32. What do you like to build with blocks?
  33. What is your favorite type of weather?
  34. What is your favorite restaurant?
  35. What do we use a toothbrush for?
  36. What do we use a car for?
  37. What do we do with a ruler?
  38. What do we do with an eraser?
  39. What do we use glue for?
  40. What do you use to unlock a door?
  41. What do you write with?
  42. What do you use to cut paper?
  43. What do you use to drink milk?
  44. What do you use to listen to music?
  45. What do you use to carry your books to school?
  46. What is one rule your teacher has in your classroom?
  47. What are some rules you need to follow in the library?
  48. What are the rules you need to follow while walking in the hallway?
  49. What is the difference between a cat and a dog?
  50. What is the difference between a horse and a cow?
  51. What is the difference between a noun and a verb?
  52. What is the difference between a square and a rectangle?
  53. What other items are similar to this?
  54. What are the names of the seven continents?
  55. What are the names of the four seasons?
  56. What are the names of the five oceans?
  57. What are the names of the planets?
  58. What are the branches of government?
  59. What is the solar system?
  60. What is the meaning of the word…?

WH Questions Speech Therapy Activities

Are you looking for a great activity to target what questions for speech therapy (or other wh questions)?

Speech pathologists will want to check out this Five Senses resource. It targets a variety of language skills, not just wh-questions. However, many worksheets specifically allow the SLP to target wh-questions questions, including ‘what questions’.

Here’s an example. On this page, which addresses the sense of sight, students are asked ‘what’ questions such as:

  • What helps someone see better?
  • What helps us look at the stars?
  • What body part helps us see things?
  • What is something you see after it rains?
This worksheet targets what questions for speech therapy.

The good news is that the worksheet also provides picture-supported answer choices! I like to pair this worksheet with bingo daubers

These different activities included are sure to be a hit in your therapy room.

For leveled support while targeting answering questions, I really enjoy using this leveled asking and answering wh questions resource. It includes short shorties and picture scenes.

For even more ideas, check out these wh questions speech therapy activities.


In summary, this article provided 60 what questions for speech therapy that SLPs could use during a speech therapy session. Scroll up to access the list of “what questions”.

It also provided reasons for targeting wh-questions in speech therapy. WH questions are very common, and children will be asked them throughout the day. Targeting wh questions can also help increase language skills, including understanding of vocabulary definitions and grammatical structures.

Speech-language pathologists might be interested in these related SLP articles:

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