Social Stories on Asking Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Social stories are helpful tools for teaching students about everyday social conventions. In this lesson, you'll find examples of social stories on the topic of asking questions.

You Have a Question? Not Now!

You've been there - you are in the middle of a math lesson, and suddenly a student calls out, ''What time is our class picture tomorrow?'' It's a legitimate question, but the student asked it at the wrong time.

If your students consistently struggle with when and how to ask questions, maybe it's time to try social stories. Social stories explain the ins and outs of social situations in a concrete, step-by-step way for students who are struggling. Let's look at some social stories about asking questions.

Social Stories on Asking Questions

Story One: Getting Attention

I have so many questions to ask people. To answer questions, people need to be paying attention. My teacher says there are good ways and bad ways to get people's attention. I try to use good ways to get their attention.

If I have a question during class, I often feel like asking it right away. Instead, I raise my hand and wait until the teacher says my name. This lets me know that it's my turn to talk. When everyone in the class raises their hands, we all have a chance to ask a question.

When we are doing work in small groups, my teacher walks around the room and stops at different groups of kids to talk to them. When I have a question, I sometimes call out to my teacher - who reminds me to raise my hand.

If my teacher is sitting at her desk, it's okay for me to walk to her desk. Then I should say ''excuse me.'' After I say ''excuse me,'' I need to wait until my teacher looks at me and lets me know it is my turn to ask a question.

Sometimes, when my class is playing outside during recess, I have a question for the recess monitors. I should say ''excuse me'' to them, too, and wait until they look at me.

If I try to get attention in the right way in class or on the playground, I am more likely to get my questions answered.

Story Two: The 'No Question Zone'

I like to ask questions, but I am learning that there are times I should not ask questions. I call this the 'No Question Zone.'

Here are some situations that are in the 'No Question Zone':

  • My teacher is in the middle of explaining something to the class.
  • My mom is on the phone.
  • My dad is driving in bad traffic.
  • My friends or neighbors are having a group conversation.
  • My principal or special school guest is giving an official presentation.

When I have a question for someone who is in the 'No Question Zone,' my job is to wait patiently until I can ask it. Sometimes I am afraid I will forget my question before the person is ready to talk to me. When that happens, I can write my question down to help me remember it. I can also find someone else to ask.

Story Three: Appropriate Questions

I'm a curious kid. My Grandma sometimes calls me Curious George because I ask so many questions. But Grandma says there are some questions I shouldn't ask. She says these questions are ''inappropriate'' and none of my business.

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