WMYST stands for “What Makes You Say That?” and is a visible thinking technique I have used over the past several years in my professional development meetings and modeled lessons quite effectively.
Before a series of meetings a couple of years ago, I hung a sentence strip in the meeting space and waited for someone to ask what the acronym stood for. It was a great lead into talking about the technique.
The purpose of this technique for me, is to have a key phrase that elicits more complex and elaborate answers. Many times teacher responses are validations. This phrasing is purposeful and respectful and can be used from kindergarten to adult learners.
The first time it is used may result in quizzical looks and the need for scaffolded questions.
It can be frustrating for the people who are used to cut and dry answers or non-verbal validation of answers.
Try it and see what happens!
It can also be helpful to ask yourself or your characters this question as you are drafting.
It was almost as successful as the cluster meeting where I only spoke in questions. It was an interesting experiment and a story for another day!
For more information: Visible Thinking Website