If you are a speech-language pathologist searching for why questions speech therapy lists and activities, check out this blog post! Many children in speech therapy address wh- questions as a way to target receptive and expressive language skills. Learning how to ask and answer WH questions is a key part of language development. Why questions occur in daily conversations, during explicit instruction, while watching movies or tv, when reading, or in the classroom. This article lists different types of WH questions. It also provides ideas for targeting why questions, a list of 50 free why questions to use during a speech therapy session, and 5 recommended why questions speech therapy activities.
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‘Wh’ Question Words
There are different types of questions that can be asked that are considered ‘wh’ question words.
Here is a list:
WH questions can be basic or more complex.
Students might benefit from visuals to help them remember how to ask or answer wh questions.
For example, a picture of a person could be a visual reminder for a ‘who’ question, whereas a picture of a watch or calendar could represent ‘when’ questions.
Scroll down to the “wh question visuals” for more specific examples.
Students might also benefit from picture-supported answer choices when learning how to answer WH questions.
Some students may need to focus on specific wh question words in speech therapy. For example, in one session, an SLP might focus exclusively on “why” question words.
The Different Types of WH Questions
There are different types of wh questions that SLPs might target in speech therapy. The question type targeted will depend on the individual student’s needs.
These can include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Yes/ No questions. A speech-language pathologist might ask, “Do you like the color pink?”
- Function questions. For example, SLPs targeting the skill of object function might ask, “What do you use a pencil for?”
- Hypothetical questions. A speech therapist might ask a child a hypothetical question such as, “Why might people want to live on Mars?”
- Open-Ended questions. SLPs might ask open-ended questions in therapy such as, “What did you do at school today?” These are often not the easiest questions to answer!
- Cause-and-effect questions. Speech-language pathologists often ask cause-and-effect questions in therapy. “Why did Sally take medicine?” These can be paired with causal conjunctions, such as because, so, and since.
- Compare and contrast questions. A speech pathologist might ask a student to compare and contrast two characters in a story.
- Information Questions. An SLP might ask a student, “What is your favorite food?”
- ‘Pros and Cons’ Questions. Speech pathologists might ask students what the pros and cons are for a particular topic or event.
It can be beneficial to use visuals when targeting WH questions.
SLPs might wish to pair a picture or image with a specific type of wh question word.
Here are some possibilities:
- WHO: Use a picture of a person
- WHAT: Pair with a thing or an object, such as a box
- WHEN: Use something to represent time, such as a clock, watch, or calendar
- WHY: Pair with boxes and an arrow to represent a reason
- WHERE: Try a picture of a map, globe, or other place
- HOW: Try using boxes to represent sequencing an event or activity
Ideas for Targeting Why Questions in Speech Therapy
There are many ways to target why questions in speech therapy!
Here are just a few ideas.
- Pair ‘why’ questions with a story read aloud. Check out questions 39-50 on the list below, and here is a list of my favorite books to use in speech therapy.
- Want to use picture scenes or pictures to target why questions? This Little Humans book might be worth a try!
- Check out this magnetic wand and chips conjunctions activity that specifically addresses answering ‘why’ questions using complex sentences.
- Ask ‘why’ questions during or after a simple science experiment.
- Do your students like cooking or making fun snacks? Pair this activity easily with ‘why’ questions.
- Go on a walk around the school while asking and answering ‘why’ questions.
- Research a variety of careers with your students. Have them think of ‘why’ questions they might ask a person in that career field. Perhaps another student could prepare possible answers to these questions.
- Answer why questions after reading short stories about specific events. I like news stories for kids, such as Time for Kids.
- Check out National Geographic for Kid’s history section for some exciting articles that could be used in therapy.
Why Questions for Speech Therapy
Looking for why questions speech therapy lists? Here is a list of why questions that can provide a starting point for basic questions and higher-level complex why questions for therapy. These why questions may be beneficial for students with language disorders.
The type of question asked will depend on the special needs of each child and a child’s ability to answer questions. SLPs may wish to pair these questions with a visual cue or some form of visual support that will help the child provide an appropriate response.
Need more free wh questions? Check out these ‘what’ questions for speech therapy.
- Why do we sleep at night?
- Why do we eat food?
- Why do we wash our hands before we eat?
- Why do we brush our teeth?
- Why do we use an umbrella?
- Why do we say “please” and “thank you”?
- Why do we wear mittens?
- Why do we wear boots?
- Why do we read books?
- Why do we wear coats?
- Why do we wear scarves?
- Why do we go to the grocery store?
- Why do we go to the dentist?
- Why do we go to the doctor?
- Why do we study for tests?
- Why do we do our homework?
- Why do we go on walks?
- Why do we share our toys?
- Why do we listen quietly when a teacher is talking?
- Why do we walk in a line in the hallway?
- Why do we have watches?
- Why do some people wear glasses?
- Why do some people wear hearing aids?
- Why do we go to the library?
- Why do we ride on a bus?
- Why do we fly in an airplane?
- Why do we mow the lawn?
- Why do we rake the leaves?
- Why do we carve pumpkins?
- Why do we have erasers?
- Why do we use microwaves?
- Why do we take naps?
- Why do we eat breakfast?
- Why do we fruits and vegetables?
- Why do we use a map?
- Why do we use a calculator?
- Why do we turn the volume down?
- Why do we turn a light on?
- Why did the main character decide to…?
- Why did the main character feel…?
- Why did the character say…?
- Why did that event happen?
- Why is …. important to this story?
- Why did (character) go to (place)?
- Why did (character) feel (emotion) when (event)?
- Why did (character) try to (action)?
- Why wouldn’t (character) (action)?
- Why shouldn’t (character) (action)?
- Why is it always important to…?
- Why do you think there is (current event)?
WHY Questions Speech Therapy Activities
Are you looking why questions speech therapy activities?
Check out these recommended different activities that address wh-questions for speech therapy! They provide easy ways to target asking and answering wh-questions in speech therapy.
Basic WHY Question Firefly Activity
This firefly-themed speech therapy activity targets answering basic who, what, when, where, and why questions. It is a wonderful choice for speech therapy and special education students.
It incorporates dough smash mat strips. The dough smash mats contain a field of 2 picture-supported answer choices.
After your student answers a basic why question, he or she can smash play dough on the smash mat in order to make the firefly “light up”.
WH Questions Digital Task Cards
Need a quick no-print activity to use with your students?
These WH Question Digital Task Cards provide a simple static display screen.
Your student answers each wh question.
Each question provides two picture-supported answer choices.
After answering, you simply tap or click “next” as you build a pizza!
Valerie M reviewed, “I was able to use this activity to help engage and keep the attention of my students. It was a great tool to use with them when practicing “wh” questions.”
Answering Why Questions using Causal Conjunctions
Are your students working on creating complex sentences?
If so, this causal conjunctions speech therapy activity is a great way to target both answering why questions and creating complex sentences!
This resource is fantastic because it provides an example right in front of the student.
They get multiple trials to practice each type of causal conjunction.
Each page lists 6 ‘why’ cause-and-effect questions.
Your student will answer using a complete sentence.
I like to provide a written sentence starter for them on a dry-erase board: “____________________ because _________________________.”
Ashley M reviewed, “This resource is perfect for my students working on creating complex sentences! Learning to use conjunctions can be tricky, but this resource provides a clear way to target this skill!”
Historical WH-Questions and Main Idea
This fun history-themed comprehension and main idea resource provides short informational passages to read with your students about a variety of historical topics.
Speech-language pathologists can target answering comprehension questions and identifying the main idea with students.
Your students can discuss topics such as ancient Egypt, Tudor England, the American Revolutionary War, the Titanic, and World War II.
This speech therapy activity includes 5 historical-themed- themed informational passages.
Each informational passage contains a page for comprehension questions and a page for stating the main idea and details.
These activity sheets are perfect for mixed groups!
Lauren R, SLP, reviewed, “I love this resource. I have used it a lot to work on identifying the main idea, comprehension, and finding details. I have even learned so much from these. We have looked up the areas on the map. I will continue to use this all the time.”
Travel-Themed Main Idea and Comprehension Passages
Although these engaging travel-themed speech therapy informational passages do not specifically focus on only ‘why’ questions, they do offer wonderful practice opportunities for answering wh-questions and finding the main idea and details.
4 passages are included, and your students will learn about Greece, Kenya, Jamaica, and the Netherlands.
Try pairing these activity sheets with dough or magnetic chips to make the lesson even more engaging!
Pear Tree Speech reviewed, “My older elementary students love these! The playdough mats keep them engaged throughout the activity. I really like how the information is split into four parts. It gives me a good opportunity to pause and talk about what we learned for each part.”
In summary, this article provided a list of 50 free why questions for speech therapy. Simply scroll up to access the questions.
SLPs may also be interested in this list of free what questions for speech therapy.
Need a great why questions speech therapy activity to try with your students?
Here is a list of 5 recommended wh question activities: