• If you expect the unexpected, will the unexpected still be expected?
  • Can you touch the wind?
  • If there was a magic pill that meant that you could never fail, would you take it?

A Thunk is a simple question about everyday things designed to stop you in your tracks and to help you to look at the world in a completely different way. Thunks help individuals to develop philosophical thinking, confidence in their own opinions and the ability to listen to others, through open-ended questions where there are no right or wrong answers.

  • If we’re all told to be an individual, is there such thing as being ordinary?
  • If we’ve read the whole dictionary, is every other book a remix?
  • If you borrow a million dollars does that make you a millionaire
  • If I ask you if I can steal your pen and you say yes, is that stealing?

Thunks are great to ponder individually but also benefit hugely from group input. In school they offer a great way to get learners thinking and enable teachers to understand HOW students are thinking and what knowledge they have.  All learners are able to contribute to a class discussion and teachers are able to facilitate this discussion by building on one person’s answer and including all members of the class.

  • Can you be prepared for a surprise?
  • Can you have too much money?
  • Would you want to remember everything if you could?
  • Can you trust anything on the internet?

The term thunks to describe the use of simple questions to develop thinking comes from Ian Gilbert’s book The Little Book of Thunks: 260 Questions to make your brain go ouch!

  • Are you what you eat?
  • Which is better, natural or manmade?
  • Do clothes make people ‘cool’?
  • Are your shadows part of us?

For a comprehensive source of thunking questions see the website Thunks: Questions to Make Your Brain Go Ouch   which has over 2000 thunks and nearly 190,000 answers so far.  You can also submit your own thunk questions there.

  • Is childhood the best time of our lives?
  • Would life be better without mobile phones?
  • Does the way we look affect the way we behave?

Get Thunking!

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