Modifying Open-Ended Questions: Concrete Models

  • Situation

    I teach a gifted class and have a student on the Autism Spectrum. We work on many creative and imaginative projects that have Open Ended Questions or Abstract Prompts. My student has great difficulty getting started on these projects and doesn’t seem to understand how to begin. What can I do to help her?

  • Summary

    Make the prompt concrete by providing a model or example when possible. For example – students are asked to create an ‘imaginary animal’. Give a specific concrete way to do this by stating, “Think of 4 animals and take one part of each and use each one to make your imaginary animal.”

  • Definition

    Modifying open ended questions involves providing structure to an otherwise abstract task.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    prepared materials and questions in advance

  • Process

    1. Rethink an open ended prompt into a concrete specific example for the student. Some examples include:

    • Describe one time when you were brave: change to – “Write a definition of brave. Think of one time you did something brave. See if it matches the definition.”

    • Invent a new type of sandwich: change to – “Think of 3 sandwiches you like. Now make a new sandwich using parts from your favorites. Give it a name.”

  • Documents and Related Resources




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