Essential Questions What are they and how do you write one?              Original Powerpoint Created by Linda NitscheCan b...
What Is an Essential Question?• Researchers have to think critically to answer an  essential question. Instead of simply l...
“Essential vs. Traditional            Questions"• Not Essential:  – “What is it like to live in Hong Kong?"• Essential  – ...
“How Questions"• Examples:  – What are some sustainable solutions to    environmental problems in your    neighborhood, an...
"What if Questions"• What if questions are hypothetical,  questions which ask you to use the  knowledge you have to pose a...
"Should Questions"• Should questions make a moral or  practical decision based on evidence.• Examples:  – "Should we clone...
"Why Questions"• Why questions ask you to understand  cause and effect. "Why" helps us  understand relationships; it helps...
Skinny vs. “Fat” Questions• What are Fat Question?  – Open-ended questions, which can be argued    and supported by eviden...
How do you write an essential             question?1. Consider the focus of your anchor book:  A. Jackie Robinson’s life, ...
Examples of Essential    Questions
Examples of Open-ended                  Questions•   How would you…?•   What would result if…?•   How would you describe…?...
Questioning Resources• Asking Essential Questions  http://www.biopoint.com/ibr/askquestion.html• The Key to Understanding ...
Essential Questions
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Essential Questions

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This is a modified presentation to fit my classroom. Full credit for the original Powerpoint goes to Linda Nitsche
Can be viewed at: http://www.slideshare.net/lnitsche/essential-questions-for-students-10831175

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Essential Questions

  1. 1. Essential Questions What are they and how do you write one? Original Powerpoint Created by Linda NitscheCan be viewed at: http://www.slideshare.net/lnitsche/essential-questions-for- students-10831175
  2. 2. What Is an Essential Question?• Researchers 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.
  3. 3. “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?
  4. 4. “How Questions"• Examples: – What are some sustainable solutions to environmental problems in your neighborhood, and how could they be implemented?
  5. 5. "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?”
  6. 6. "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?"
  7. 7. "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?"
  8. 8. 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?”
  9. 9. How do you write an essential question?1. Consider the focus of your anchor book: A. Jackie Robinson’s life, MicroMonsters, Equal Rights for Women, War Experience, Oil Spills, Ghandi, Pele, Dealing with Change, etc.2. Ideas for a good essential question: A. may stem from your particular interests in a topic (e.g. Why do we drill in the oceans? What if Ghandi never existed? How did Pele impact soccer around the world?) B. Begin with the 6 typical queries that newspaper articles address: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? C. From these questions formulate your essential question. D. Use: Which one? How? What if? Should? Why?
  10. 10. Examples of Essential Questions
  11. 11. 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…?
  12. 12. 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

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