Developing Essential Questions Questions, not statements will stimulate student curiosity to find the answers. From:“Unwrapping” the Standards Presented by: Center for Performance Assessment
Essential Questions • Cannot be answered with “yes” or “no” or with simple recall of facts • Often written as “one-two punch” questions: • “What are literary devices? Why do authors use them?” • “What is estimation? When and how do we use it?”
Essential Questions • Open-ended, yet focus inquiry into a specific topic • Answering them requires high-level depth of knowledge (DOK) • Succinct – a few words that demand a lot
Benefits of Essential Questions • Teachers use as instructional filter for selecting lessons and activities that advance student understanding toward Big Ideas • Students develop their understanding of concepts and processes as they move through instruction and activities • The work students produce provides evidence that the standards have been met—and to what degree (defined by rubric or scoring guide criteria)
History/Social Science Big Ideaand Essential Question • BI: “Geographic, political, cultural, and religious structures work together to ensure the survival and advancement of all civilizations.” • EQ: “Why do all civilizations—past and present—need organizational structures?”
Science Big Idea andEssential Questions • BI: “People can learn and apply a systematic process for understanding the natural world.” • EQ: “What is scientific inquiry? How do we use it in real life?”
Math Big Idea andEssential Questions • BI: Mathematical formulas provide shortcuts for verifying estimates and solving problems. • EQ: Why learn mathematical formulas? How do estimation and formulas work together?
ELA Big Idea andEssential Questions • BI: Writing is the process of communicating in print for a variety of audiences and purposes. • EQ: How do good writers express themselves? How does process shape the writer’s product?
http://www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/instruction/CITWweb/ObjectivesFeedback/Big%20Ideas%20and%20Essential%20Questions%20in%20Curriculum.pdfhttp://www.nhcs.k12.nc.us/instruction/CITWweb/ObjectivesFeedback/Big%20Ideas%20and%20Essential%20Questions%20in%20Curriculum.pdf • http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/math/Content%20Map/Content%20Map%205.pdf • http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/instruction/ela/6-12/BackwardDesign/BDstep1.htm