I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure



I heard a new word yesterday – thunk.  Perhaps its been around for a long time, but I have never heard it before.  I was doing some supply teaching, and one of the lessons that the class of 7 and 8 year olds had was ‘Thunking’ – a topic they love.  They have this 15 minute lesson twice a week where they are asked a simple question which encourages them to think about things carefully, in a way they might not have thought of before. In addition to improving thinking skills, it also encourages explaining yourself clearly, justifying your opinion and listening to the views of others.

Yesterday’s thunk was ‘If I took the body off a car would it still be a car?  What if I took out the engine?‘  The answers were very varied, and interesting (some children are clearly not sure quite how a car works!), but my favourite was that yes, it would still be a car if you took the body off because it would just be like taking the car’s clothes off and underneath it was naked.  🙂

Here are some other thunks to get you thinking  …

What colour is Tuesday?

If elephants ruled the world, what changes would you see?

Can you drink a sandwich?

If we borrow every single book from a library, is it still a library?

What colour would a zebra be if it lost all its stripes?

Happy Friday!


15 thoughts on “thunking

  1. I just looked it up. It the past tense of think. also, loud thud or sound but your meaning seems to be different, so could you just explain it?

  2. New verb for me – the only “thunking” I know is an adjective describing a sound. I do like the idea of pushing kids to think deeply about things. As for Zebras, they are black if they lose their stripes (oh the fun of being married to a biologist…).

    • I think it’s great to encourage children to think in this way – I hope it catches on with other classes in the same school. I thought that might be the case with a zebra – but how do we know for certain? Is it to do with the colour of the skin under the stripes?

      • The baby zebra is black ” in utero” until the final embryonic stage, when it develops the white stripes. The evolution of zebras gave them stripes to camouflage them so that they didn’t get gobbled up so often, and als apparently because the stripes confuse bloodsucking flies. I’m going to get myself a zebra-stripe pair of pj’s for the summer.

  3. Gosh, I’m glad they bother to do this kind of thing in schools. So often today, education is about jumping through hoops, and not learning to think, or thunk.

    If elephants ruled the world, think how big the average armchair would be.

    • I thought the ‘thunking’ lesson was one of the best lessons ever, and the fact that they do it twice a week is excellent. I quite agree that there is too much hoop jumping going on these days, and no time for individuality.
      Ha ha! Armchairs would be massive!

  4. Naked car! LOL.

    I always thought “thunk” was the sound of something being hit?

  5. Elaine, I love this idea. I found with our new curriculum the opportunity for children to just sit and write has really been removed so I started an independent writing time a couple of times a week for that purpose. These thought starters are so unique…which leads to my next dilemma. Once I’ve used up your amazing ideas, how will I think of more? Maybe I should google…

  6. Your post really made me smile, Elaine. i If a zebra lost its stripes, I think it would be a Quagga. 🙂

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