How to extend learners’ answers using ‘Stretch it’

Teachers ask learners many questions during a lesson in order to help support the learning outcomes. 

Here are three possible reasons why teachers would need to ask questions:  

  1. Check for learning 
  1. Check that learners understand the task 
  1. Responding to feedback from students 

There are many benefits of asking questions to learners but implementing Stretch It as a practical activity can help challenge and encourage your learners deeper thinking. 

 To get the best out of learners, it is important to accept a response from a student that responds with more than simply with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It is important to encourage learners to stretch their responses.  

Here are 4 helpful steps on how you can implement this practical strategy called  


STEP 1 Ask a question to a student 

STEP 2 Choose a learner to answer the question 

Step 3 Ask your learner to extend their answer by asking them to explain their thinking to help deepen their thinking. Here are four examples of questions you can ask your learners below: 

-You can ask them questions that begin with the following: 

-‘Why do you think that?’,  

-‘Is there another way?’ 

– ‘Can you give an example or reason for this?’ 

STEP 4 Ask the rest of the class if they agree or who has a different idea so that you can assess learning of the learners in your class too. 

By using S-T-R-E-T-C-H IT in your lesson, you look for opportunities to develop every learners’ answers, this in turn enables learners to develop and consolidate their thinking and responses.  

Using STRETCH IT as a practical active technique in class has already been a success in many classrooms. Here is a response and some advice from Marissa from one of our partner schools from Trinidad and Tobago, who has used STRETCH IT in her classroom: 

‘ I used Stretch It in my Form One English Language Classroom. The questioning phrases helped make it less challenging and it helped me to gauge how many students understood the topic.’ 

The next time you ask a question to your learners in your classroom, plan and prepare for opportunities to develop and stretch learners’ responses using STRETCH IT as a practical technique.   

You can find out more about how use STRETCH IT and other supportive teaching strategies that you can use in your classrooms through our TEACH2030 digital learner courses.

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