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questions with no right or wrong answer

(19 Posts)
binkie Wed 29-Jun-05 13:37:01

= a recommendation from an ed psych, for encouraging a bright, but getting more absolutist ("but mummy if I get dd's trainers for her that's like being a slave"), 6yo to be more reflective.

I was thinking of making sure we stop in stories and say "what would you do now?" etc. but otherwise am stumped.

Can anyone suggest any? Or links to books, or school subjects, that deal with this sort of stuff?

(I am expecting this topic to drop like a stone, by the way.)

motherinferior Wed 29-Jun-05 13:38:48

Sorry, my sweet, could you explain a bit more?

Easy Wed 29-Jun-05 13:40:07

I can't think of any right now, but will work on it this afternoon.

I'm interested, because I can see my ds going this way too.

binkie Wed 29-Jun-05 13:42:13

Well, I'm supposed to give him things to think about which - unlike simultaneous equations - don't have a "right answer" that he can jump to (or collapse in floods if he doesn't get instantly). He's supposed to practice thinking rather than solving.

Thought about offering him the school-journey dilemmas ...

throckenholt Wed 29-Jun-05 13:45:16

maybe talk through how to make or design something (maybe making a cake, or building something).

How he would go about planning something - say going on a trip - how he would find out when it was open, how much things would cost, who could go with him etc.

Maybe other things like how could he work out how tall a tree is (say as a multiple of his own height).

nerdgirl Wed 29-Jun-05 13:46:03

How about some of these recommendations binkie?

Easy Wed 29-Jun-05 13:48:38

Does he understand maps?

My ds is facsinated by the road atlas, and he often whiles away 20 mins or so working out routes to places.

Gives me chance to get something done too.

Would making a list of rhyming words fall into the category too, or could that be considered too precise?

tassis Wed 29-Jun-05 13:49:20

Does she mean maybe to involve him more - what t-shirt do you want to wear? What do you want on your toast? What shall we pack in the picnic? How would you feel if...?

THink the idea of building things together and stopping during stories are good ones.

motherinferior Wed 29-Jun-05 13:52:11

oooh, how interesting. Please do give him the journeys dilemma, as it has driven me bonkers and I need someone of his intellectual calibre.

motherinferior Wed 29-Jun-05 13:52:41

I bet there's something in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight...got email from Grendel, btw.

binkie Wed 29-Jun-05 17:40:31

nerdgirl, really interesting: loads to mull on there; and I really do like the "planning" ideas, so thank you all.

He does combine this vast intellectual curiosity (why does the queen have all that money, what does she want with it? it doesn't make sense to have money if it's just so as to pass on to children) with, at the moment, a very anxious need for answers (when my answer was well, maybe she could give it to charity, he wanted to know which charities and why and was furious with me when I stopped being able to come up with ideas).

trefusis Wed 29-Jun-05 18:08:36

Message withdrawn

trefusis Wed 29-Jun-05 18:11:03

Message withdrawn

happymerryberries Wed 29-Jun-05 18:25:25

Try some of these?

Why do you think a plant's shoot grows upwards and the roots downwards? (you can put a bean in a jar and watch it, turn it upside down and the root and shoot will changes places IYSWIM)

Why do you think that you see the flash of lightning before you hear the thunder?

If you were washed up on a desert island, what things would you take to help you survive?

Which is easier to push into playdough, a sharp object of a larger blunt one? Lets find out! Why?

What happens if you make a 'telephone out of paper cups and string. What happens to the sound if you put your finger on the string.

Give him two magnets. What rules can he find for how the poles interact? Give him a paper clip. can he make it into a magnet? How can he make the magmnet into a compass? (with threads or a cork and a bowl of water.

happymerryberries Wed 29-Jun-05 18:29:15

Binkie, re the always wanting an answer, i teach a boy of 14 very like this. I have found that he can now begin to cope with not getting the answer immediatly as long as he is told when I will tell him the answer and make sure that I always do! So if you say , in an hour, do you think he could wait that long for you to google?

I have found that this boy has had to learn to trust me that I will give him the answer, but that he sometimes has to wait (he is very high functioning ASD)

Realise things must be harder with a six year old. With mine I find that google is your friend!

Stilltrue Wed 29-Jun-05 19:49:38

Art galleries - Talk about paintings and sculpture with him; introduce him to the idea that to an extent, our perceptions of the same objects can be very different. That should be open ended and he will make connections with other areas of his experience through this.
Numbers - thinking about "biggest" and "smallest" could lead neatly into the idea of infinity.
Time - if he can't tell the time yet, teach him. My dd is also 6 and very bright. She "got" telling the time in a day and now enjoys musing along the lines of "how many school lunchtimes could I fit into a day (assuming my tummy would let me carry on eating!)/how many seconds have I been alive for? (she can't actually do the multiplication for that yet of course but she knows how to put the idea together)
Reading - fables, myths and legends particularly. They are so enriching.
I suppose what we are trying to do is introduce shades of grey and depth of pattern into the still somewhat black and white minds of bright little children! Who said it was easy!

frannyf Wed 29-Jun-05 20:54:41

I have a wonderful book called (I think) "Children Solving Problems" by Edward de Bono which includes many examples of open-ended questions with infinite numbers of solutions. I know you said you want to avoid "solving" but I hope I was right in thinking that cues for imaginative, creative thinking were what you were after. An example from the book is: invent a machine that stops a cat and dog from fighting. The children all came up with wonderful and varied ideas - a really interesting read and might give you some ideas for your son.

binkie Thu 30-Jun-05 09:34:58

And I thought this would be a lead balloon!

All fabulous ideas - I do specially love the machine that stops a cat and dog from fighting - right up ds's street - eg he once suggested we find out an experiment to see if pigs are clever. Google was my friend then - did you know that if you get two groups of pigs, and show group A where some food is hidden, the group A pigs will only go and get the food when the group B pigs are looking the other way?

binkie Thu 30-Jun-05 12:48:17

I love the internet

look here

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