How to Trigger Student Questions


The purpose of an essential question is to activate prior knowledge, elicit curiosity, and promote inquiry relating to the content standard(s). It should guide students’ thinking as they progress through an entire unit of study. The reality is that most essential questions “travel in one ear and out the other” for most students. Why? In many cases, the essential question is neither “essential” nor is it posed as a relevant question to peak student interest and investigation. Another obstacle is that the impetus for asking the question often rests with the teacher rather than with the students. This PD Byte explores student questions, offers an approach to trigger student questioning in the classroom, and provides a strategy for transforming traditional teacher-generated essential questions into vibrant, engaging, open-ended questions by students.


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