For several years, I have used Essential Questions in my classroom. Many of these questions were changed when we changed units or in conjunction with projects. I was bothered because it seemed like I spent more time thinking of a new essential question for the next unit and we never really spent enough time on the previous Essential Question.
I, therefore, spent a great deal of time this summer reflecting on what I perceived the purpose of Essential Questions to be. I also reviewed the Essential Questions posted online by various individuals and groups. Finally, I again reviewed my state core for each class I teach. I came to the conclusion that it might be possible to create ONE course Essential Question.
With this in mind, I worked on crafting an appropriate Essential Question for each course. In my opinion, these questions needed to be very open ended but based on my state core. I also want the focus to get beyond my classroom walls so we can possibly interact with other subjects or parts of the world.
Here are the Course Essential Questions I plan to use this year. (Links are to my class pages that have a wordle
from the appropriate state core.)
7th Grade Integrated Science
: How does structure affect things?
(9th grade): What makes life beautiful?
I welcome feedback and comments from my PLN regarding this endeavor. Please let me know how you think this may benefit - or detract from the teaching process.