Five powerful questions

by Pam Hook on October 20, 2013

in Questioning, SOLO Maps, SOLO Taxonomy

One of the things I love about the classroom based use of SOLO Taxonomy is the way in which using the model helps students understand great questions. SOLO helps students understand how to construct great questions and how to answer them.


For example, the HookED SOLO Five – a series of five great questions students can use to extend their thinking.

1.  What is one important idea that I learned from this?
[Define: Unistructural Question]

2.  What is this idea about?
[Elaborate/Describe: Multistructural Question]

3.  Why is this idea important?
[Explain: Relational Question]

4.  How does this idea apply to my life? (To what extent is this idea relevant to the social, political, cultural, ethical or spiritual issues I/we currently face?)
[Apply: Relational Question/Extended Abstract Question]

5.  What does this idea make me wonder? (What do I know that I still don’t know about this idea? What questions do I still want to ask?)
[Wonder: Extended Abstract Question]

This powerful SOLO questioning sequence is used by students of all ages when they are reflecting on their next steps (or as a prompt for their own inquiry/research). It is supported by the HookED SOLO Describe++ Map and self – assessment rubric.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl Doig October 21, 2013 at %I:%M %p

These are five great questions and apply just as much to leaders of all ages. I am wondering how leaders can grow other leaders using these questions. What about a bank of questions for them to use on a regular basis?


Tessa Gray October 21, 2013 at %I:%M %p

Fantastic guiding questions Pam, thank you for sharing as always. I can see these questions would work well outside of school – perhaps in homework tasks or a Flipped classroom model as well.

Reminds me I need to ‘pay it forward’ and on-share gold like this in the VLN.


Warren Owen October 26, 2013 at %I:%M %p

Hi Pam
Really enjoyed these reflection/thinking questions.
Keep up the good work.


Jeanette Newhouse October 29, 2017 at %I:%M %p

I love seeing the “Ideas for Thinking Maps.” Believing and knowing all students are able to learn, where could I see modifications to this way of teaching for Special Ed students. I would be nice to even see a lesson, say, in Life Skills. Is this possible?


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