BACKWARDS DESIGN UNIT PLANS created by WINTER 2018 Pre-interns (following Examples of Essential Questions)
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What ARE essential questions??
These are the BIG IDEAS that can be explored for understanding but never be fully answered. Questions that stimulate ongoing thinking and inquiry; raise more questions; spark discussion and debate; asked and reasked throughout the unit (and maybe the year); demand justification and support; “Answers” may change as understanding deepens.
Examples of Essential Questions from “Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding” written by McTighe and Wiggins. The authors remind us that EQs are open-ended, thought-provoking, intellectually engaging, call for higher-order thinking, requires support and justification and recurs over time.
**Learners are engaged in UNCOVERING the depth and richness of a topic that might otherwise be obscured by simply COVERING it.**
Some examples the authors provide:
How do the arts shape, as well as reflect, a culture?
Who is a true friend?
Whose story is this?
Why do people move?
What is worth fighting for?
Is there a pattern?
How are stories from other places and times about me?
What makes objects move the way they do?
Is aging a disease?
What can artworks tell us about a culture or a society?
How does where you live influence how you live?
How can motion express emotion?
What makes a system?
What “truths” can we learn from fiction?
How do effective writers hook and hold their readers?
Does global interdependence help or harm the people involved?
How do our economic and political choices affect others?
What responsibilities do we have to others in the world?
How does one live in the world with integrity?
Who sees and who is blind?
How does dance create and communicate meaning?
What makes a great story?
How does an organism’s structure enable it to survive in its environment?
Can anyone be an artist?
What kind of artist am I?
Is one picture worth a thousand words?
Is the medium the message?
**Check out the many SAMPLE units created by UofR Winter 2018 Pre-interns, designed around ONE essential question with a few guiding questions.
- What does it mean to be healthy? Grade 7 & 8 by Raegyn Fulmek
2. How do we create a collaborative team? Grade 6/7 by Trisha Wallington
3. What does it mean to be healthy? Grade 7/8 by Erin Zinger
4. Why on EARTH should we care? Grade 8/9 by Jacquie Walbaum
5. How does government impact us? Grade 4/5 by Shannon Johnstone
6. What is the significance of place? Grade 8 by Kim Thue
7. Why is wellness important to me? Grade 7/8 by Maytlind Mallo
8. How does data impact my life? How does abuse impact one’s self. family and community? Grade 7/8 by Brayden Dreger
9. What is the significance of place? Grade 7/8 by Amanda Ewert
10. How do we work smarter? Grade 5 by Cody Biever
11. Why are Relationships Important? Grade 6/7 by Laneise Scharback
12. Why is Canada a Rainbow? Gr. 5/6 by Hira Zahid
13. How does mindfulness benefit me? Gr. 6/7 by Janae Prediger
14. What is my connection to space? Gr. 6 by Paige Lyons
15. How does puberty affect our lives? Gr. 5/6 by Jon Wilmot
16. What does it mean to be healthy? Gr. 6/7 by Tianna Macdonald
17. How do you work towards becoming a willow? Gr. 7/8 by Taylor Gamracy & Dan Santha
18. What does respect look like? What does it mean to respect ourselves in healthy ways? Gr. 4/5 by Breanne Kauck-Fiacco & Brooklyn Mantai
21. What is culture? What does Indigenous culture look like in Canada? Gr. 8 by Erin Maki
22. What does respect look like? Grade 4/5 by Brooklyn Mantai
23. What does it mean to be afraid? Grade 7/8 by Brooklyn Selinger
24. Why do bills and laws exist? Gr. 7/8 by Jeremy Baetz