How To Ask Affective Questions in Lessons

What Are Affective Questions?

Affective Questions encourage students to engage with their learning on a more personal level by expressing their attitudes, feelings and values towards a specific topic.

Affective Questions also require students to reflect on their own behaviour and consider how their behaviour may impact other people.  

By engaging personally and emotionally in their learning, students will be able to relate to the subject being taught in a more meaningful way.  

Teachers should understand how to ask affective questions in their lessons to provide opportunities for their students to think more deeply and personally about their learning. 


Affective questions are just one of many question types that teachers can ask in lessons. To find out about other types of questions you should check out the article below:

18 Types Of Questions teachers Can Ask In Lessons

VIDEO: Affective Questions Explained

Examples of Affective Questions

  • How does that make you feel?
  • Is that important to you?
  • Why is that important to you?
  • Is that something you value?
  • Does this new information change your attitude in any way?
  • How would you feel if I told you, you were incorrect?
  • How did it feel when you came last in the race?
  • How did it feel when you came first in the race?
  • Why do you feel you are so passionate about this topic?
  • What experiences have you had in the past that have led to your current feelings towards this topic?

When and How To Ask Affective Questions In The Classroom

Affective questions can be used with any age group and for any subject area.

Obviously, consideration needs to be given to the age of the students as this will influence their ability to reflect and engage on a personal level. The more emotionally intelligent and emotionally mature the student is the more complex the questions can be (however this would be the same for most types of questions).

Affective Questioning

Affective questions can be used at any stage of a lesson: at the beginning as a starter activity, at the end as part of a plenary, or anywhere between where there would be benefit to doing so. 

Ultimately, affective questions can be used whenever there is an opportunity for the students to connect with a topic on a personal level, think relate to a situation, opinion or perspective on the topic or to reflect on their own behaviour in a meaningful way.

When considering how to ask affective questions in lesson, teachers may want to refer to Bloom’s Affective Domain for more information and guidance around the hierarchical progression of questioning.  

What Are The Benefits Of Asking Affective Questions In Lessons?

When asking questions in lessons, teachers don’t just want to explore student knowledge on facts and information.

It is important for the teacher to also ask questions which encourage students to connect with their learning on a more emotional and personal level.

The benefit of this is that students are able to personally relate to the topics and information provided in the lessons which supports their ability to gain a deeper understanding.

For example, if in a history lesson the student is learning about life in the trenches in the First World War, they could simply learn some facts and information about it. But if the teacher asks the student to think what it would have been like if they were in the trenches (or) to think about how they would have felt if they were safe in England and one of their family members was away at war.

By encouraging students to relate to the topic in this way, drawing on their emotional connection to the topic, the teacher will be able to provide a greater opportunity for the student to engage in the topic and think in a more considered way.

From my experience, understanding how to ask affective questions during lessons can have a significantly positive impact on student learning and engagement in the topic.

In fact, Affective Questioning is one of my top five questioning strategies that I personally like to use in lessons. To find out the other four please check out the article below:

My Top 5 Questioning Techniques for Teachers

Author: Jonathan Sandling