A good essential question Is
open-ended; that is, it typically will not have a single, final, and correct answer.
Is thought-provoking and intellectually engaging, often sparking discussion and debate.
Calls for higher-order thinking, such as analysis, inference, evaluation, prediction. It cannot be effectively answered by recall alone.
Points toward important, transferable ideas within (and sometimes across) disciplines.
Raises additional questions and sparks further inquiry.
Requires support and justification, not just an answer.
Recurs over time; that is, the question can and should be revisited again and again.
• The geography, climate, and natural resources of a region influence the economy and lifestyle of the people living there.
• How does where you live influence how you live?
Overarching Essential Questions
• Whose "story" (perspective) is this?
Topical Essential Questions
• How did Native Alaskans view the "settlement" of their land?
Here is the Chapter. What Makes a Question Essential? http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109004/chapters/What-Makes-a-Question-Essential%A2.aspx
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You mean for a task? I would start by anticipating student response depending on a task. Since you're a Language Arts teacher and I'm only teaching Math, I'm assuming that you're frontloading your students on some reading assignment. And more importantly, what curricular standards are the students supposed to meet? Break those down while relating to the task.
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