+ What is an essential question? Why is a question format used rather than an objective? Why are essential questions important? Why do you think teachers sometimes “avoid the heart of the curriculum and teach to the periphery?” How are essential questions like “mental Velcro?” Examples from your units?????? Creative application
+ How do I get started? What do I want my students to remember about this topic 5/10 years from now? It may be helpful to complete the sentence, “Students will understand that…” before beginning to write your essential question.
+ Do I have to write the essential questions myself?
+ Miscellaneous Helpful Hints Write your essential questions in language that is easily understood by your students. Keep the essential questions posted in your room during the unit. Sequence your questions so they lead naturally from one to another. If a question is very specific, or can be answered with a few words or a sentence, it may not be an essential question.
+ More Helpful Hints Lead a brainstorming session with students in which you provide the topic of study and they provide questions they would like to have answered during the unit. Pose the questions at the beginning of the unit as a pre-assessment. Use the questions to frame one, or a series, of activities. Create culminating assessments around answering these questions.
+ Essential Questions from the Student’s Perspective Help students see a connection between their learning and their lives Help students answer the question, “So what?” for their learning Translate the standards and objectives in a user-friendly way, so that students understand what the unit will entail
+ Not so essential question What is cancer? A question like this asks students to move information from one point (the resource) to another (their paper). By asking students questions like these you may be encouraging them to plagiarize.
+ Better What plan could you develop that would reduce your likelihood of developing cancer?
+ Even Better What plan could you develop that would reduce your likelihood of developing cancer? Your plan can have only 2 strategies. Defend why you selected those two strategies.