Essential questions

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Essential questions

  1. 1. What Are Theyand How DoYou Write Them?By Mary Alice Osborne,the “Facing History andOurselves Team,” andLinda FooteEssentialQuestions
  2. 2. What is an Essential Question? Students have tothink critically toanswer an essentialquestion. Insteadof simply looking upanswers, theyconduct researchand create originalanswers.
  3. 3.  ProvokesDeepThoughtAn EssentialQuestion:
  4. 4. An Essential Question: Solicitsinformation-gatheringandevaluation ofdata
  5. 5. An Essential Question: Encouragesstudents toproduceoriginal ideasrather thanpredeterminedanswers
  6. 6. An Essential Question: Helpsstudentsconductproblem-relatedresearch
  7. 7. An Essential Question: May nothave ananswer
  8. 8. An Essential Question: Encouragescritical thinking,not justmemorizationof facts
  9. 9. Think: Bloom’s Taxonomy
  10. 10. Who’s Doing the Learning?
  11. 11. Some Examples: NOT Essential: What is it like to live in Hong Kong Essential: Which city in Southeast Asia is the best place tolive? NOT Essential: What is AIDS? Essential: Which serious disease most deserves researchfunding? NOT Essential: When was the Declaration ofIndependence signed? Essential: What ideas in the Declaration of Independencehave become American traditions?
  12. 12. “What If” Questions: What if the CulturalRevolution hadnever happened? What if studentsdidn’t have to goto school?
  13. 13. “Should Questions”A Moral or Practical Decision based on Evidence Should we clonehumans? Should we discontinuetrade with countriesthat abuse humanrights? Should Wilbur run forfreedom?
  14. 14. “Why Questions:Understand Cause and Effect Why do peopleabuse drugs? Why is the deathrate higher in oneThird World countrythan another?
  15. 15. Traits of Essential Questions: Open ended: not usually answered with a simpleyes or no, or right answer. Made explicit to students: referred to oftenduring units Deliberately framed to engage students Connect to students’ lives and past, present, orfuture experiences Used to design curriculum. Activities andmaterials should be selected based on how theyhelp students explore the essential questions ofthe unit.
  16. 16. Essential Questions in History What choices do people make in the face of injustice? What makes it possible for neighbor to turn against neighbor? How are genocide and other acts of mass violence humanlypossible? What choices do people make that allow collective violence tohappen? Who decides how laws or rules are applied? How can we ensurethat laws and rules are applied to everyone in the same way? What are civil rights? Who decides? How can we respond whenour civil rights are violated? What can be done to strengthen thecivil rights of individuals and groups? What is race? How can ideas about race be used and abused?What can be done to counter harmful myths about race? How have ideas about race been used to decide who isincluded and who is excluded?Copyright © 2011 Facing History and Ourselves. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. 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…?
  18. 18. Culture: Values Beliefs and 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 andbeliefs? Why do we need beliefs and values? What happens when belief systems of societies andindividuals come into conflict? When should an individual take a stand in oppositionto an individual or larger group? When is it appropriate to challenge the beliefs orvalues of society? Are there universal characteristics of belief systems thatare common across people and time?
  19. 19. Social Justice Questions What is social justice? To what extent does power or the lack of power affectindividuals? What is oppression and what are the root causes? How are prejudice and bias created? How do weovercome them? What are the responsibilities of the individual in regardto issues of social justice? Can literature serve as a vehicle for social change? When should an individual take a stand against whathe/she believes to be an injustice? What are the mosteffective ways to do this? What are the factors that create an imbalance ofpower within a culture?
  20. 20. Questioning Resources Asking Essential Questionshttp://www.biopoint.com/ibr/askquestion.html The Key to Understanding Essential Questionshttp://www.hannibal.cnyric.org/Acrobat%20docs/ESSENTIAL%20QUESTIONS%20For%20high%20School.pdf Themes and Essential Questions: FramingInquiry and Critical Thinkinghttp://www.greece.k12.ny.us/instruction/ELA/6-12/Essential%20Questions/Index.htm Asking Essential Questionshttp://www.il-tce.org/present04/flesser.pdf
  21. 21. Questioning Resources Asking Essential Questionshttp://www.biopoint.com/ibr/askquestion.html The Key to Understanding Essential Questionshttp://www.hannibal.cnyric.org/Acrobat%20docs/ESSENTIAL%20QUESTIONS%20For%20high%20School.pdf Themes and Essential Questions: FramingInquiry and Critical Thinkinghttp://www.greece.k12.ny.us/instruction/ELA/6-12/Essential%20Questions/Index.htm Asking Essential Questionshttp://www.il-tce.org/present04/flesser.pdf
  22. 22. CreditsName Mary Alice OsborneLocation West Topsham, Vermont, United StatesWork Teacher Librarian at King Abdullah University of Science andTechnologyAbout Libraries are changing rapidly due to the incredibleinformation & communication opportunities that the Internetpresents. I want to use the new ideas of "Web2.0" to help bringlibraries forward to better serve their patrons.Website www.kslibrary.infohttp://www.slideshare.net/maryaliceosborne/essential-questions-for-students

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