Teaching WHAT 

  1. Keep a few small objects inside a bag - such as pen, ball, clip, plate etc. Pull out the objects one at at time and ask "What is this?", while stressing on what and simultaneously tapping the what icon in Avaz (modelling).
  2. Give the response, "this is a ball" while also tapping the ball icon in Avaz. 
  3. You can do the same thing during the child's favourite activity. Keep all items inside a bag.
  4. Say during a painting activity, pull out one at a time, and say "What is this?"
  5. Respond to your own question with "This is a paint brush"
  6. Ask "What is this?" pointing to the paper. Respond with "This is a paper".
  7. Ask "What is this", pointing to the paints. Respond with "This is paint". 
  8. You can also use picture cards for teaching the WHAT concept. Point to a picture of an object and ask "What is this?" while simultaneously modelling the word WHAT on Avaz.
  9. Create more opportunities to use the same word What multiple times through the day.
    1. E.g. at mealtime, ask about the child's favourite foods.
    2. Point to the food and  "What is this?" while tapping what on Avaz.  Respond with "This is a banana". Repeat with other favourite foods.
  10. After several attempts at modelling, ask the child to ask you the question. 
  11. Try to prompt for the child to use What on Avaz. Use prompting techniques to help get started. 
  12. Fade the prompt over time to develop independence. 

More ways for developing WHAT 

  • What can also be used for getting responses of actions
  • While painting: "What are you doing?" and respond with "You are painting".


Common objectsWhat is this? (showing to a plate) This is a plate.
What is this? (showing a spoon). This is a spoon.
What is this? (showing a ball) This is a ball. 
What is this? (showing a chair) This is a chair
What is this? (showing a table). This is a table. 
What is this? (showing a door). This is a door. 
What is this? (showing a window) This is a window.
What is this? (showing a fan). This is a fan. 
What is this? (showing a light bulb) This is a light.

What is this? (showing scissors). This is scissors. 
What is this? (showing a knife) This is a knife.

What are you drinking?
What are you eating?
What is papa eating ?
What is mama eating?

What is your favourite food?

What fruit do you like?

What are you wearing?
What is this (pointing to a shirt)
What am I wearing?
What is she wearing?

What is your favourite dress?

What are you playing?
What is this (pointing to an object)?
What is this (pointing to soap)?
What is this (pointing to water)?

This can be used through the day during all activities of daily living.
What are you doing - playing / painting / running / jumping / 
What am I doing - talking / eating / walking / cooking / cleaning
What is the bird doing - flying / chirping / eating
What are you doing - bathing / brushing teeth
What are you playing - playing a game/ LEGO/ blocks
ConceptsColoursWhat colour is this ? pointing to red apple - it is red colour
What colour is the car - Yes, it is a blue car
What colour is the ball - it is a yellow ball
What colour is the banana - it is yellow colour
What colour is your hair - it is black colour
What colour is the bottle - it is white colour


Offering choices makes it easier for the child to understand the concept and makes it easier for a response.

E.g. When we say 

"What is this - a ball or table". 

"What is this - an apple or a chair"

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FAQ : How to teach responding to Wh questions?