- 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 https://www.independentthinking.co.uk/thunks/ 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?