Where would this idea be useful? How might this help you in your current situation? How could this change something happening right now? These are tool questions, and this category allows you to help students to complete the task of comprehension that began with the second level processing in your bite questions.
What they are
Tool questions complete the comprehension process by taking the information that has been clarified from a passage or study and helping students see its application in the here and now. Getting clear on the content is important, but if all we do is study a passage in its context our ultimate goal of life transformation has not happened. As we study the scriptures is it not merely enough to recognize that David lamented his sin with Bathsheba, we must talk about how the principles in that passage can help us in our life today.
How they can go bad
Application is far too often where good discussions stop. Though we must always set application as a goal, it is an intermediary goal. The reality is that not all examples in the Bible are good examples and a lot of what is said must be further evaluated and synthesized before it is of most use.
How to use them well
The best use of tool questions is to help students experience an idea or story as if it is there own. The reality is that though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it is dealing with ideas and themes that are universal. That means that as we think through how those situations apply to our current context, we are discovering that the Bible is not merely true because it happened in the past, but it is true in a more powerful way: it happens now.
When we use application well, we discover that we are experiencing the same ideas and struggles of the scripture in our lives today. When that becomes the lens through which students explore the scriptures, the Bible comes to life for us and we see its power and poignancy everywhere we turn.
To create great tool questions begin by looking at the big principles and plot points in a passage and try to imagine where those might be the most useful or similar to the lives of your students. Then, design questions that act as the mental bridge between those principles and plots into the real world of those we are leading.