How To Ask Hypothetical
Questions In Lessons
[50 Examples for Teachers]

What Are Hypothetical Questions?

Hypothetical questions asks students to think, ‘what if?’

They are questions which require students to consider how they would feel or act in a potential, or imaginary, future scenario.

Teachers can use hypothetical questions to promote creative thinking, problem solving, evaluation and other higher order thinking skills.

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18 Types Of Questions

Teachers Can Ask In Lessons

Fermi questions are just one of many question types that teachers can ask in lessons.

Read this article to explore other types of questions you could use in your lessons. 

VIDEO: Hypothetical Questions Explained

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50 Examples of Hypothetical Questions To Ask In Lessons

  1. What would the world be like if Shakespeare had never existed?
  2. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
  3. If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
  4. If you could be CEO of a company, what company would you choose?
  5. If you could be an animal, what animal would you be?
  6. If you were able to live on any planet in the solar system, where would you live?
  7. If you could go back in time to any point in history, where would you go?
  8. If you had the ability to make yourself invisible, what would you do?
  9. If you could get rid of a law, which law would it be?
  10. If you could bring an animal back from extinction, what animal would you choose?
  11. You have discovered a new colour that no one else can see, how would you describe it to other people?
  12. You can invite four famous people to dinner, dead or alive, who would you invite?
  13. If you could be any character from a movie, which character would you be?
  14. They are making a movie of your life, who would play you in the movie?
  15. If you had to leave the country you currently live in, which country would you move to?
  16. You have just moved to a new house and you have a spare room, what would you do with the room?
  17. You have been asked to redesign your country’s flag, how would you change the current design?
  18. You have the option to drop one of your subjects at school and never study it again, which subject would you drop? 
  19. What would the world be like if Darwin has never existed?
  20. You have the option to make it illegal for people to eat one type of food, which food would you ban?
  21. If you could control your dreams, what would you dream about?
  22. If you could play/sing in any band or group, which one would you choose?
  23. If you could own any car in the world, which car would you own? 
  24. You are in front of a TV producer ready to pitch an idea for a new TV show, what show do you pitch?
  25. If you had the ability to fly, where would you go?
  26. You have the ability to back in time and relive a happy moment from your past, which moment would you relive?
  27. You wake up one morning and find that you are 50 years older, what is the first thing you would do?
  28. If you could be best friends with someone famous, who would you choose?
  29. If you could live inside a computer game, which game would you choose?
  30. You are in front of a movie producer ready to pitch an idea for a new movie, what movie do you pitch?
  31. You have to only ever eat one type of food for ever more, which food would you choose?
  32. They are making a movie of your teachers life, who would play your teacher in the movie?
  33. You have the ability to go back in time and change something from your past, what would you change?
  34. You become a successful millionaire, what aspects of your life would not change?
  35. You have to live for a month without your phone/tablet/laptop, during the time you would normally use your phone, what would you do instead?
  36. You are world class at  musical instrument, which instrument would you choose?
  37. You have one day left to live, what would you do?
  38. If you could remove one of your personal characteristics, what would you choose?
  39. If you did not need to sleep, what would you do during the night to fill your time?
  40. You have to wear the same outfit for the rest of your life, what do you choose to wear?
  41. You become a professional wrestler, what would your name and identity be?
  42. You are a famous superhero, who would you have as your sidekick?
  43. you can be fluent in another language, which language do you choose?
  44. What would you do if aliens invaded Earth?
  45. What would you do if you found a baby dragon?
  46. If every human on Earth jumped into the sea at the same time, what would happen?
  47. If you could invent a brand new animal, what would it look like?
  48. If you became a teacher, what subject would you want to teach?
  49. You can only ever listen to one song for the rest of your life, what song would you choose?
  50. Days are now 25 hours long, what would you do during your extra hour each day?

When and How To Ask Hypothetical Questions In The Classroom

Hypothetical Questions can be used at any stage within a lesson. 

They are fantastic when used as a starter activity as they instantly engage students in the lesson and encourage participation, discussion and debate

However, Hypothetical Questions can be used at any point in the lesson where students would benefit from exploring the topic being taught in a more creative and abstract way. 

Hypothetical Questions can also be used during tutorials, enrichment sessions and academic skills development sessions as they are an effective tool for supporting the exploration of ideas, concepts and study skills.

What Are The Benefits Of Asking Hypothetical Questions In Lessons?

Hypothetical Questions provide an opportunity for students to develop their ability to think philosophically and creatively.

There are no right or wrong answers so hypothetical questions are very accessible for students.

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate a greater level of confidence when expressing their own views on a topic.

With different viewpoints and ideas being raised by different students, discussions and debates will naturally occur.

Through these discussions and debates students will develop their ability to articulate and justify their own views as well as listen to and appreciate the views of others.

It is therefore important for teachers to broaden their questioning toolkit by understanding how to ask hypothetical questions in lessons.

Author: Jonathan Sandling