Essential Questions

Overview of the Course and Course Icons.

Audio Overview of the Course: click here, then click the PLAY arrow
Various Forums for the Course
Course News
Primary Grades Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
Arts Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
ELA Forum (Grades 4-8): Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
English Forum (Grades 9 - University): Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
Health, Wellness, PE: Post your Ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
History and Social Studies Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
Math Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
Science Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
World Languages Forum: Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
General Forum (for all other subjects): Post your ideas, questions and experiences with EQs here
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What is an Essential Question?

Audio Overview of Topic 1
VIDEO: Brief Intro - What is an Essential Question? (0:52)
NARRATED PPT: What is an Essential Question? (12:31)
Sample Unit with written Commentary
JOURNAL: Essential Questions - what might they do for me?

"Essential" vs. "Important to me!" Questions

Audio Overview of Topic 2
ERROR! VIDEO: Grant on EQs vs. Qs important to the teacher
VIDEO: The Power of Essential Questions (Classroom Case Study) 4:02
VIDEO: Grant on Essential Questions and Understandings (1:17)
Self-test: Essential questions? Or Factual (Knowledge) questions?
Study Guide for Chapter 5 of UbD - on Essential Questions
Brief Essay: What is an Essential Question?

Essential Questions in Skill Areas and the Primary Grades

Audio Overview of Topic 3
Narrated PPT: EQs and the Primary Grades
VIDEO: 1st grade Mapping Unit - Classroom Case Study (8:00)
Philosophy for Children - a website filled with questions for Core Primary Grade Texts
Narrated PPT: EQs and Skills - part 1
Narrated PPT: EQs and Skills - part 2
VIDEO: Case Study - Middle School Math (10:25)
Sample EQs in World Language
Sample EQs in Mathematics
Sample EQs in English Language Arts
Sample EQs in the Primary Grades
Sample EQs in Science

What's the Purpose and Scope? Guiding vs. Exploring Questions; Overarching vs. topical questions

VIDEO: Case Study - middle school history
NJ Standards Clarification - all 9 sets of state standards written in terms of EQs and other ubd elements (this is work we led for the NJDOE)
Delaware math Standards Clarification in UbD Terms
DE ELA Standards Clarification in UbD Terms

Teaching Tips and Editing Ideas for Essential Questions

VIDEO: Acquisition, Meaning making and Transfer as Goals (1:55)
VIDEO: 9th Grade Socratic Seminar - Classroom Case Study (6:29)
VIDEO: Comments on Socratic Seminar (2:42)
What is a Socratic Seminar? An introduction by Grant Wiggins
VIDEO: Making Essential Questions Important & Transparent (1:40)
VIDEO: On the textbook (1:26)

Additional Resources

The Introduction from Understanding by Design (book)
UbD in a Nutshell
Resources on designing learning for understanding
Essential Questions and Students: How should the questions be made kid-friendly? What role should student questions play?
Scope: How big? Topical vs. Overarching Questions

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