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Getting children thinking big questions


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Using Big Questions to Inspire Thinking in Humanities

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Getting children thinking big questions

  1. 1. Creating Powerful Thinkers Using Big Questions in Humanities.
  2. 2. Big Questions and Key Themes How might global warming effect Dulwich Hamlet Junior School?
  3. 3. Big Questions and Key Themes How might global warming effect Dulwich Hamlet Junior School? • Provides an inspiration for thinking; • Learning to learn: facts for purpose; • Gives the children flexibility in their approach: madcap ideas etc.; • Allows children to make links across subjects and year groups; • Provides a basis for your planning.
  4. 4. What kind of questions… • Personalised or local (Rose 2009 & Alexander 2007) – How can local people improve their community? • A project to revitalise the pond (link to science) – What makes me who I am? • Contemporary Global issues – Are some people more important than others? • Discuss in the context of India. – Are we part of Europe? • Inspirational – What can we learn from Scott of the Antarctic? – What was it like when Granddad was a boy?
  5. 5. Alternatives… • Big idea – Competition for resources: Is the world fairer today than it was in Roman Times? • Big Challenge – How important is the story is “History”? • Create our own Horrible History: Sickening Saxons • Big statement (controversial) – Modern day morals have declined; we should yearn for a return to Victorian values.
  6. 6. Promoting Big Questions • Use the language: – What do we need to do to answer our big question? • Have your big question displayed. • Make it the title of your outcome e.g. non-fiction writing. • Talk about them in assemblies. • Use them in other curriculum areas: Art, PSHE, Literacy, Science. • Use P4C techniques to bring debate to the fore. • Refer back to prior learning through Big Questions. • As children become literate in language of Big Questions, allow them ownership.
  7. 7. Edward De Bono’s Thinking Hats
  8. 8. What kind of Outcomes do we expect from this creative and rigorous approach? • Humanities Workbook • Use of ICT: animation, film, podcast, cartoon, magazine, website, class encyclopaedia. • Speaking and Listening: a play or a debate • A real-world action: an event, an object or a campaign. • A piece of writing: non-narrative text or a piece of narrative history. • A project • A giant display
  9. 9. A Word of Warning • Time expensive • Target one half term or a few weeks of your humanities planning. • Only mark the final outcome: oral feedback will suffice for the rest of the work.
  10. 10. Humanities Workbooks • A non-fiction book whose author is the child. • Shows the learning journey the child went on. • Imagine looking at the book again in 5/10/20 years’ time, what would you think? • Front Cover: creative and thought about • Contents page, index and glossary
  11. 11. Humanities Workbooks • On each page the presentation of the whole page is considered; • Title (and possibly a date); be consistent; • Flip over and reuse. • Balance of History, Geography and RE • Non-fiction writing • Graphs/ Tables etc. • Art • Trips and Visitors • ICT: QR links