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  • Writer's pictureAngela Russ-Ayon

16 Open-ended Questions to Ask Young Children About Insects or Bugs

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

If you want to learn what children are thinking when they examine insects or bugs, you have to ask the right questions. Not just any question will do. Open-ended inquiry encourages high-level thinking because there are many possible responses (Lee, 2010). Asking OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS is one of the best ways to enhance children's curiosity and guide them through a learning process without telling them what to do. The answers children give reveal what they are feeling, thinking, and comprehending on a topic. With these types of questions, parents and educators delve deeper into children's thoughts and ideas, guiding them to the next steps for learning by introducing more complex activities or experiments. Here are 16 open-ended questions to ask young children about insects or bugs:

  1. What do you know about insects/bugs?

  2. What is the difference between an insect and a bug?

  3. Describe the insect/bug.Have you ever seen an insect/bug? Tell me about it.

  4. Why do you think there are so many species of insects/bugs?

  5. How can you tell if an insect or a bug is real or pretend?

  6. What do you think/feel about insects/bugs?

  7. How do you know that’s an ant/caterpillar/spider/grasshopper/beetle/moth/butterfly/bumble bee/etc.?

  8. How did you learn about this insect/bug?

  9. How does this insect/bug behave/move/fly/crawl?

  10. What helps insects/bugs move that way?

  11. Show me how the bug moves using your body.

  12. What does this insect/bug do that others don’t? Why?

  13. What do you notice about the insect’s/bug’s body parts?

  14. Why do some insects/bugs have eyes/antennae/wings/stingers/thoraxes/abdomens/etc.?

  15. How are these insects/bugs the same/different from each other?

  16. How are people/animals different from insects/bugs?


Author of: The BIG Book of Open-Ended Questions to Intentionally Support Young Children in Learning: Topics for Preschool thru 1st Grade Buy Now!

Angela Russ-Ayon is a mom-preneur, children’s author, interactive trainer on the subject of early childhood, and award-winning artist/producer of music for young children. She presents educational strategies to child care providers, parents, and teachers nationwide for AEYCs, R & Rs, and the like. She is a member of the Recording Academy and is the sole owner of Russ InVision Records. For more information on Angela, her workshops, keynotes, and accomplishments, you are welcome to visit © 2021, Russ InVision. All rights reserved.

Find out more about Angela Russ-Ayon and her affordable interactive keynote and workshop presentations coast-to-coast on the subjects of early childhood development, STEM (science and math), open-ended questions, and creative engagement. Visit her training page. offers fun songs and physical activities for distance learning, virtual classes, webinars, child care facilities, after-school programs, homeschooling, preschools, daycare centers, kindergarten classes, or rainy day recesses.

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Phone: 562-421-1836

Lee, Y. (2010). Blended teacher supports for promoting open-ended questioning in pre-k science activities. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Virginia, USA.


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