Use Questions: Help Your Students Connect God’s World and Word

In previous OnPractice posts, we’ve discussed the importance of asking questions in the classroom[1]. This week’s post, adapted from Michael Essenberg’s curriculum Connect God’s World and Word, discusses the important role that questioning can have in helping students connect what they are learning to the larger story of God and His work in the world[2].

You’re in your classroom, thinking: “We talk with students about our faith, and we model Christlike behavior. Our students encourage each other, help lead devotions and chapel, and participate in Bible class discussions. But they don’t really seem to understand how math, English, and all their other subjects connect to God’s Word.”

Ever feel like this? Are you looking for a way to help your students better connect God’s world and Word? By responding yes or no to the following 5 statements, find out if using questions will help your students:

  1. My students feel that learning what God’s Word teaches is boring.
  2. Rather than rely on my suggestions, my students need to think for themselves about how God’s world and Word are connected.
  3. My students need time to think about how the part of God’s world they’re studying connects to God’s Word.
  4. My students need to connect God’s Word to their lives, not just to what they study in class.
  5. My students need more opportunities to practice connecting God’s world and Word.

If you said yes in response to any of the 5 statements above, then use questions to help your students make connections. Here’s why:

Using questions is an effective instructional strategy that engages students in connecting God’s world and Word. When students are engaged, they learn. So rather than lecture, ask your students to discuss questions such as, “How moral is math?”

  1. Using questions gives your students opportunities to think about the connections between God’s world and Word. Open-ended questions (like “How do authors help us see truth?”) are designed to have more than one correct answer. This encourages students to think in a discerning fashion. As students consider questions like, “How should Christians bridge cultural differences?” they learn to connect God’s world and Word.
  2. Using questions gives your students time during class to think about how the part of God’s world they are studying connects to God’s Word. Students commute to school, participate in after school activities, and do homework at night. By asking students to discuss or write about a question during class, you can provide your students with the time they need to connect God’s world and Word.
  3. Using questions helps your students connect God’s Word to their lives. For example, when considering the question, “How should you treat others?” your students can connect God’s command to love their neighbors to a story and to how they treat their family members.
  4. Using questions gives your students repeated opportunities to connect God’s world and Word. When students repeatedly respond to questions such as, “How can I care for God’s creation?” they develop stronger connections between science and God’s Word.

Good questions can help your students make Biblical worldview connections. Here are some examples to get you started: What if…? What’s the problem? What’s your responsibility? What’s the solution? What’s wrong with the world? What makes good music good? What makes us who we are?

Michael Essenburg

School Improvement Coordinator
Christian Academy in Japan


[1] Ware, Christy.  Questioning.  OnPractice. 10/2/2013.
[2] For more information about Michael or his curriculum, please check out his website www.closethegapnow.org.
Photo Credit:  Children.  tamarajohnsonbelieves via Compfight cc; Reaching Outandrew and hobbes via Compfight cc.Today’s OnPractice is used by permission from a larger curriculum, Questions: Help Students Connect God’s World and Word, © 2011, by Michael Essenburg and closethegapnow (www.closethegapnow.org). If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact Michael directly at mbessenburg@caj.or.jp.