The Five Whys

ObjectiveModel the five whys for children so they can identify the root of their problem.
Description Why

The five whys is a question asking method,developed by Sakichi Toyoda, used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem and determine the root cause.


  • How's your day going?
    • Not that great.
  • Why is it not going that great?
    • I'm feeling stressed.
  • Why are you feeling stressed?
    • I have a test next week and I'm not prepared.
  • Why aren't you prepared?
    • I don't have time to study.
  • Why don't you have time to study?
    • I've been working too many hours.
  • Why have you been working so many hours?
    • I'm moving out and need money for rent.


The root of the stress is not the exam, it's in fact the moving out. Once the child has found out the real root of the problem, it is then easier for them to resolve it. If you resolve all of the feelings that come along with it, and not the actual basis, then it's going to keep re-occurring and cause more issues. 

Mark As Complete:

Mark this activity as complete when you have used the 5 whys with your child.

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Age Range 7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18   
Activity Type Routine
Tags Problem Solving  Interpersonal Intelligence  Linguistic Intelligence 
Last ModifiedCindyCindy


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