Friday, June 7, 2013

A Baker's Dozen (or more) Questions for Research

The Common Core is hot on getting kids to think--to support, to validate, to wonder and more.  This should be the “Year of the Question”  since research is “the next big thing” for the Common Core.  So what’s the difference between an essential question and a guiding question?  What’s the big deal?  And, how can I spotlight the difference?   Here’s the scoop: 

An EQ should drive a research unit.  These EQ's should be "umbrella questions"  or "big idea" questions that  ask a question for investigation.
     Ex.  How are countries globally interdependent? 

     Ex. What would your Patiot say to America today? 
     Ex.  How do themes in literature reflect real-life scenarios? 
     Ex.  How do I access, analyze and synthesize information and why should I care?  

Guiding Question’s 
These cause students to think and may not always have the same answer
Skill Questions
These usually have the same answer and can be used to assess 
Is all information good?
Is this information usable?
Where can I find good information?
Is this information biased?
How do I assess information to determine whether it’s good?
Is this information credible?
How do I assess information to see if it’s usable?
Is this information timely?
How do I tell if information is biased?
Is this information reliable?
How do I tell if information is credible?
Do I see any groupings in my information?
When do I want timely information?
What can I conclude from this information?
How do I assess reliable information?
Does this information match other information I   have received (supported? Vs. outlier? ) –
What information supports my conclusions?


  1. Hi, I have been following your blog. Your Common Core Carpe Diem webinar was interesting. I am reading with interest all your posts about essential questions. I am making this a priority this year. I have developed a Smartboard presentation with the keyword cubes. The idea is put "questioning" key words on two dice, roll them, and then make up an "open door" question that will return meaty or thick facts. It's a grade 4 activity