QFT Steps

Question Formulation Technique Steps

Now that you’ve observed the technique let’s go through the steps necessary to achieve QFT in your classroom.


For more information and resources about QFT, visit their website.

Design a Question Focus

Before the lesson can begin, develop a Question Focus, or QFocus. The QFocus for your lesson is the jumping-off point. It can be a statement, phrase, image, video, map, or anything that gets questions flowing from your students. A productive QFocus should be simple and clear.

Here is a free design tool to help you develop your QFocus:

Introduce the Rules

There are 4 main rules for the QFT process.
1) Ask as many questions as you can.
2) Do not stop to discuss, judge, or answer the questions (it’s a brainstorm).
3) Write down every question exactly as it is stated.
4) Change any statement into a question.

After providing these guidelines, you may want to reflect with your students by asking them which rule might be the most difficult to follow. Why?
This reflection is not only a chance for your students to think for themselves and prepare but also a chance for you to model effective questioning.

Introduce the QFocus and Produce Questions

Present your QFocus without any additional information, keeping your explanation to a minimum.
While following the rules, have your students make a list of questions related to the QFocus.

Improve Questions

In this step, your students are asked to work with their questions and identify how different types of questions elicit different types of information and answers.

Ask your students to categorize questions as closed-ended or open-ended. Closed-ended questions can be answered with yes, no, or with one word. Open-ended questions require an explanation and cannot be answered with one word.

Then discuss the value of each type of question. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of open- and closed-ended questions.
Change one closed-ended question to an open-ended question. Then, change one open-ended question to a closed-ended one.

Prioritize Questions

This step brings students back to your teaching objectives. You can prioritize as many questions as you want. Here are some examples of prioritization instructions:

Consider the most important question(s).
Which question(s) will help with your research?
Which question(s) will guide your reading/writing?
Which question(s) will help you solve the problem?

Students should be able to articulate their rationale for prioritizing their questions.

Discuss Next Steps & Reflect

Depending on your goals, you should clearly explain how your students’ questions will be used. For example, they may use these questions in a future Socratic Discussion or history research project.


In the end, you should find time for your student to reflect on the process of creating questions.