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Essential Questions Lee’s Summit High School Library Media Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Essential Questions Lee’s Summit High School Library Media Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essential Questions Lee’s Summit High School Library Media Center

2 Essential Questions Like to argue? Good! –Essential questions are important to “argue” about!

3 Essential Questions Are at the heart of the subject –They deal with what’s important, what’s worth thinking about. –Which one(s) are EQs? What were the names of the battles fought in the Civil War? Why was the Civil War fought? What would be different today if the South had won?

4 Essential Questions Raise more questions—”parent” questions that produce more questions. The “Parent”: Does media violence make our society more violent? The kids: If it does, are producers of violent movies responsible for real crimes? Would kids grow up to be better people if we didn’t let them watch violent TV? Can you really blame the media for all the violence going on? Who else is responsible? Isn’t it really up to each individual to control their actions, no matter what they see on TV?... and so on.

5 Essential Questions Recur –and should recur- many times through your lifetime. (Hmmm. I thought I had it all figured out, but now that I see some new evidence, I’m not so sure.)

6 Essential Questions Are: –Provocative They challenge you/make you want to argue/make you question. –Enticing Ooooh. That’s interesting-- let me think about that! –Engagingly framed Not boring Make people want to discuss the question.

7 Essential Questions Can’t be answered with simple, “right there” answers. They make you THINK! Which is an EQ? Who was the 35 th president? What was the best thing President Kennedy did when he was president? Why do you think so?

8 Essential Questions Answers can’t be “found”. –(JFK was the 35 th president) They must be invented! –But you must find evidence to support what you invent! –(It’s not just guessing!) The best thing JFK did as president was... Because...(cite evidence)

9 Essential Questions Essential questions often begin with –Why? –Which? –How? –What if? Why do things happen the way they do? Which do I select? How could things be made better? Which is best? What if this happened?

10 Essential Questions Should require one of the following thought processes: –Requires developing a plan or course of action OR –Requires making a decision/coming to a conclusion

11 Essential Questions Examples: Must a story have a moral? A beginning, middle, and end? Heroes and villains? Is Russia becoming more or less democratic since Putin came into power? Is geometry more like map-making and using a map, or inventing and playing games like chess? Were theorems invented or discovered? Is prejudice more a view of race or class? What makes a family a community? Do statistics always lie?

12 Essential Questions Examples continued Are some aspects of another language and culture not understandable by people from other cultures? Is gravity a fact or a theory? Is evolution a scientific law or a theory? In what ways are animals human, and in what way are humans animals? Do mathematical models conceal as much as they reveal? (From Understanding by Design: Curriculum and Assessment, pp )

13 Related or Supporting Questions These are the smaller questions that must be answered in order to answer the big, essential question. They provide background and guide the work. They tend to be more topic and subject-specific.

14 Questioning For additional information on the importance of questioning and the different types of questions see: –Jamie McKenzie’s Questioning Toolbox orhttp://fno.org/nov97/toolkit.html –The Question IS the Answer orhttp://fno.org/oct97/question.html –UnderstandingbyDesign PowerpointUnderstandingbyDesign Powerpoint

15 But my teacher wants a thesis statement... If your research assignment is required to have a thesis statement, essential questions will help you develop it. Take a look at this presentation on thesis statements from essential questions.thesis statements

16 To Learn More about Thesis Statements Purdue OWL’s Thesis or QuestionThesis or Question Joyce Valenza’s “What is a Thesis?”What is a Thesis Indiana University’s “How to Write a Thesis Statement”“How to Write a Thesis Statement”

17 Return to LSHS ResearchLSHS Research and Problem-Solving Model


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