Habits of the Mind: Questioning & Problem Posing

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • March 14, 2017, 3:35 p.m.

Questioning leads to problem posing. Children need to have the understanding that there are many different perspectives from others in the world. Problem posing is seeking clarification or new knowledge. It's important for students to see questioning and problem posing demonstrated for them. This can be done by role playing or presenting the class with questions that capture their interests. The students will find that there are many different perspectives to that one question, which in turn will lead to problem posing.

Here are some mentor texts to read aloud to help students understand this habit of the mind better.


Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

This is a great story to use with your youngest learners. Use this book as a questioning text. The little bird is consistently questioning and problem posing from one character to the next. Habits of the mind: Questioning & problem Posing, Persisting, Finding Humor.


More Than Anything Else By Marie Bradby

This is an inspirational story about nine year old Booker T. Washington and his desire to learn to read. This text is also a great historical literary story. More Than Anything Else illustrates different perspectives and will get students questioning and problem posing. Habits of the Mind: Questioning & Problem Posing, Persisting, Striving for Accuracy, Gathering Data Through All Your Senses.

The Strory of Ruby Bridges By Robert Coles

Ruby Bridges is a great historical nonfiction text. Ruby was the first African American student to attend an all white elementary school in New Orleans. This is a great text to begin the discussion of different perspectives. Have students write down their questions and pose problems to their classmates. This book bridges reading and social studies beautifully. Habits of the Mind: Questioning & Problem Posing, Listening with Understanding & Empathy.

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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