Essential Questions For Students


Published on

This presentation is for use with students who are going to be creating essential questions to guide their research for a project.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • I can recommend a website that was really helpful throughout high school. It's called The website lets you choose a writer and you communicate with them and describe exactly what course work you want them to help you with. It really helped me and I hope it helps you too!
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Hi Mary,
    Thank you for sharing this great resource!
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Thanks for this resource.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • An excellent summary of the major points on the topic of essential questions. Very helpful for teachers who are increasing the rigor of these lesson plans.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • I think this presentation provoke thoughts and will be a good tool for creating projects. It gives simple steps to take the learner deeper.
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Essential Questions For Students

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