A parent recently asked "I've found it difficult to help my son to answer HOW and WHY questions, Can you give some suggestions?"
We posed this question to a well respected Speech/Language Pathologist who specializes in the language development of preschool children.
“Wh” questions can be tricky for preschool children, even those without a developmental delay. Try to think of the “wh” questions on a continuum with “what” questions being the easiest, then “where” questions, “who” questions, and “when” questions. The “how” and “why” questions are higher level questions and are more appropriately answered in kindergarten and first grade. All of these questions are very important because when a child is learning to read, these questions deal with their comprehension of the story. Often it’s a question of their understanding what is being asked of them. For example, “who” would be a person and “when” would be a time. Modeling these questions for your child would be helpful such as, asking and then answering the same question. For example, “Where should we go?” “Oh let’s go to Publix.” “When should we go?” “Let’s go after school.” In this way the child will hear the proper use of questions with the appropriate answer. Over time he will integrate this into his repertoire.