BLANK level questions

March 4, 2018

I was introduced to BLANK level questions many years ago as part of a whole school push on Communication development.  This simple strategy completely changed the way that I interact with children in the Early Years (particularly with 2, 3 and 4 year olds). 


BLANK level questions were devised by Dr Marion Blank as a way to structure questions at different levels of understanding, ranging from 1 (simple one word answers) to level 4 which require reasoning.  Below are examples of different questions:


BLANK level 1: (Naming)

Find one like this

What can you see?

What is it?

Say this...

What did you hear?

What did you do?

BLANK level 2: (Describing)

What happened?

What shape is it?

What size is it?

What colour is it?

Where is it?

BLANK level 3: (Identify)

How are these the same?

Tell me something else you could use...

Tell me a story...

Find me one to use with this...

Tell me the beginning, middle and end...

BLANK level 4: (Predicting)

What will happen if...?


What could you do?

How can we tell?

Why should we use that?

Why is... made of ...?


When I use these questions I usually pitch my question at the level of understanding that I feel my child will understand. There are times when a child may only be able to answer a level one question but a level four in other contexts. Bear in mind that Level 4 questions tend to be more difficult for children under 5 to answer, but some will be able to in certain contexts.  


Below is a poster that I have used in my classroom below. It includes information on the 10 second rule as well as using 4 comments for every question in your room. Remember, questions are good but they aren't particularly useful conversationally.



Download from here: 



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