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Essential Questions for Students
 

Essential Questions for Students

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    Essential Questions for Students Essential Questions for Students Presentation Transcript

    • Essential Questions What are they and how do you write one?
    • What Is an Essential Question?
      • Students have to think critically to answer an essential question. Instead of simply looking up answers, they conduct research and create an original answer. An essential question:
        • provokes deep thought.
        • solicits information-gathering and evaluation of data.
        • results in an original answer.
        • helps students conduct problem-related research.
        • makes students produce original ideas rather than predetermined answers.
        • may not have an answer.
        • encourages critical thinking not just memorization of facts.
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy
      • Essential Questions are found at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy (Bloom, 1954).
      • They require readers to:
        • EVALUATE (make a thoughtful choice between options, with the choice based upon clearly stated criteria)
        • SYNTHESIZE (invent a new or different version)
        • ANALYZE (develop a thorough and complex understanding through skillful questioning).
    •  
    •  
    • Types of Essential Questions
      • Which one?
      • How?
      • What if?
      • Should?
      • Why?
    • “ Essential vs. Traditional Questions "
      • Not Essential:
        • “ What is it like to live in Hong Kong?"
      • Essential
        • Which city in Southeast Asia is the best place to live?
      • Not Essential:
        • “ What is AIDS?"
      • Essential:
        • Which serious disease most deserves research funding?
    • “ How Questions "
      • Examples:
        • What are some sustainable solutions to environmental problems in your neighborhood, and how could they be implemented?
    • " What if Questions "
      • What if questions are hypothetical, questions which ask you to use the knowledge you have to pose a hypothesis and consider options.
      • Examples:
        • " What if the Cultural Revolution had never happened?"
        • " What if students didn’t have to go to school?”
    • " Should Questions "
      • Should questions make a moral or practical decision based on evidence.
      • Examples:
        • " Should we clone humans?“
        • " Should we discontinue trade with countries that abuse human rights?"
    • " Why Questions "
      • Why questions ask you to understand cause and effect. "Why" helps us understand relationships; it helps us get to the essence of an issue.
      • Examples:
        • " Why do people abuse drugs?"
        • " Why is the death rate higher in one Third World country than another?"
    • Skinny vs. “Fat” Questions
      • What are Fat Question?
        • Open-ended questions, which can be argued and supported by evidence.
      • Examples:
        • Skinny Question: "When was the Declaration of Independence signed?"
        • Fat Question: "What would have happened had we not signed it?”
    • How do you write an essential question?
      • Consider the focus of the unit or lesson activity:
        • Substance abuse, drug addiction, legal & illegal drugs (use your inspiration mind map)
      • Ideas for a good essential question:
        • may stem from your particular interests in a topic (e.g. What makes a drug “good”?, community resources (How is China dealing with substance abuse?)
        • Begin with the 6 typical queries that newspaper articles address: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
        • From these questions formulate your essential question.
        • Use: Which one? How? What if? Should? Why?
    •  
    • Examples of Essential Questions
    • Examples of Open-ended Questions
      • How would you…?
      • What would result if…?
      • How would you describe…?
      • How does…compare with…?
      • What is the relationship between…?
      • What would happen if…?
      • How could you change…?
      • How would you improve…?
      • How do you feel about…?
      • Why do you believe…?
      • What is your opinion of…?
      • What choice would you have made…?
      • What would you do differently?
      • Why do you feel…?
      • How would you go about solving the problem…?
      • If you were in this position what would you do?
      • Why do you/don’t you support…?
      • What could improve…?
    • Culture: Values, Beliefs & Rituals
      • How do individuals develop values and beliefs?
      • What factors shape our values and beliefs?
      • How do values and beliefs change over time?
      • How does family play a role in shaping our values and beliefs?
      • Why do we need beliefs and values?
      • What happens when belief systems of societies and individuals come into conflict?
      • When should an individual take a stand in opposition to an individual or larger group?
      • When is it appropriate to challenge the beliefs or values of society?
      • Are there universal characteristics of belief systems that are common across people and time?
    • Social Justice Questions
      • What is social justice?
      • To what extent does power or the lack of power affect individuals?
      • What is oppression and what are the root causes?
      • How are prejudice and bias created? How do we overcome them?
      • What are the responsibilities of the individual in regard to issues of social justice?
      • Can literature serve as a vehicle for social change?
      • When should an individual take a stand against what he/she believes to be an injustice? What are the most effective ways to do this?
      • What are the factors that create an imbalance of power within a culture?
    • Questioning Resources
      • Asking Essential Questions http://www.biopoint.com/ibr/askquestion.html
      • The Key to Understanding Essential Questions http://www.hannibal.cnyric.org/Acrobat%20docs/ESSENTIAL%20QUESTIONS%20For%20high%20School.pdf
      • Themes and Essential Questions: Framing Inquiry and Critical Thinking http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/instruction/ELA/6-12/Essential%20Questions/Index.htm
      • Asking Essential Questions http://www.il-tce.org/present04/flesser.pdf