Exploring Root Causes: Fill-in-the-Blank Question Activity

Teaching Strategy Description:

Students complete a fill-in-the-blanks style questionnaire to discover and analyze root causes in a vulnerable community.  The example questions below demonstrate the flow of the activity and are intended to be used following a viewing of the film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.


Fill in the blanks below to think through why things are as described in the video. Continue the exercise until you feel you have run out of questions and answers!

Youth in Old Crow are concerned about food security in their community – but why? Because …

Could this have been prevented?


But why? Because…

Could this have been prevented?


But why etc.?

Teaching Context:


“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” Filmed in Old Crow, Yukon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K32yNaAIuDU&feature=youtu.be 

Chapter 17, Section 4, Analyzing Root Causes of Problems: The “But Why?” Technique in the Community Tool Box. Retrieved from http://ctb.dept.ku.edu/en

Altman, D., Balcazar, F., Fawcett, S., Seekins, T., & Young, J. (1994). Public health advocacy: Creating community change to improve health. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.

Sholtes, P.R. (1988). The Team Handbook. Madison, WI: Joiner Associates Inc.


Submitted by:  Catherine Bradbury, Yukon College

Indicator(s): 2.2