Have you ever wanted more or different questions for teaching than the ones in your LDS lesson manual? Have you ever felt unsure how to come up with those questions? There are some questions you can always ask your class, regardless of the lesson topic. Here are some examples plus the characteristics of these questions, so you can write your own.
When it comes to teaching the gospel, we are trying to help people to testify of the principles being taught and to feel the Spirit. This is best done by asking questions that lead to discussion.
Characteristics of Good Discussion Questions
Good discussion questions are:
- Open-ended- Questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no, don’t encourage people to share. Focus on questions that begin with who, what, why, how, when and where.
- Have more than one right answer. I once had someone tell me after a Gospel Doctrine lesson that they often felt like they were on trial when someone would ask a question during class and they didn’t have the right answer. We need to be careful to focus more on questions that lead to people sharing their thoughts and feelings with each other than questions that are directed toward fact-based answers.
- Encourage people to take time to reflect. The best questions will not get the quickest answers, so be prepared to leave a moment for people to reflect.
- Focus on what someone knows about the most, themselves. Ask a lot of questions about what people think and feel about the topic being discussed.
Examples of Good Questions
Assume we are in a lesson talking about prayer for the following example questions. You can also insert any gospel topic into these questions and some of these questions won’t mention the topic allowing you to use them again.
- What words stood out to you in that verse (quote) we just read?
- Why do you think we need to have a good understanding of prayer?
- What does prayer mean to you? (I love this question because it takes the pressure off from having the “right” answer. It also helps me to know what my class understands about the topic.)
- How has prayer helped you?
- How does it feel to know that we can communicate with God?
- What words come to mind when I say the word prayer? (This one also helps me know what my class understands.)
- When have you felt the closest to Heavenly Father (and or Jesus Christ) through prayer?
- What is your favorite story from the scriptures about prayer?
See how easy it can be to brainstorm a list of questions? If you are looking for more guidance on questions, I recommend reading the chapter on questions in Teaching, No Greater Call.
Take it a step further and learn to ask the right types of questions in your marriage with 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask for a more Vibrant Marriage.
Your Turn- What type of questions do you usually try to ask? What great questions have you heard?
Heather is a wife, mother of two daughters, young women leader, and blogger. Her Church teaching experience includes Primary, Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society and Young Women. You can find her on her blog, LDS Youth Leadership, where she teaches overwhelmed LDS young men and young women leaders to teach the youth to lead. You can also find her on her Facebook and Pinterest, where she shares her favorite tips for how to lead the youth.