Ask “Two in a Row” to Differentiate for Gifted/Advanced Learners

January 1, 2018

Research for This Tool

There are a variety of questioning techniques that can be used during instruction. Using specific types of questions for specific purposes can be an effective way to differentiate for diverse learners. While comprehension and knowledge level questions are integral to instruction, teachers should also require students to go beyond basic information and describe their reasoning process.

Shaunessy (1999) and others have described several types of “thinking questions,” including

  • Inference questions,
  • Interpretation questions,
  • Questions about hypotheses, and
  • Reflective questions.

Ask Two in a Row to Differentiate for Gifted/Advanced LearnersTeachers should use a high percentage of questions that are higher-level, divergent, and open-ended to ensure that gifted and advanced learners demonstrate their ability to apply prior learning, analyze, and synthesize information. The reference mentioned above is provided here:

Shaunessy, E. (1999).Questioning techniques in the gifted classroom. Gifted Child Today, 23 (5), 14-21.

How to Use This Tool

The tool provided here contains several small cards with questions that can be asked as “second questions.” After asking a basic question, follow it with another question that requires an explanation, prediction, description of how the first answer was reached, and other examples of reasoning and thinking. For example, after asking for an answer to a problem, don’t stop after the student provides an answer. Go ahead and the second question, “How did you rule out other possible answers?”

The small cue cards can help teachers remember not to stop after just one question. Instead, ask “two in a row.”

Reference for this Tool

From Proven Strategies That Work for Teaching Gifted & Advanced Learners (p. 17), by K.M. Fad and G. R. Ryser, 2015, Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Copyright 2015 by Prufrock Press. Reprinted online with permission.

If you are interested in the product that this form is re-printed from, here is the link:


Ask Two in a Row: Second Questions (.pdf)