Access to Internet resources can open a world of new information to you and your
students, but access alone is not enough. To be an effective user of the Internet, you
need skills and strategies for navigating through thousands of sites and millions of Web
pages. Finding good sources of information for your curriculum requires a plan. Before
you start a search, figure out what you are looking for. To begin your course Project,
you will pick a topic about which you will write one or more essential questions.
What Is an Essential Question?
Students have to think critically to answer an essential question. Instead of simply looking up answers, they conduct research and create an original answer. An essential question:
What qualities should a good teacher possess?
When students are challenged with essential questions, they stay on task because they are so intent on answering the question that they have no time to do anything else! A Questioning Toolkit has in-depth information about essential and other forms of questioning to use with your students.
Learning to Ask Essential Questions
In an environment that stimulates essential questioning, no one has the right answer all the time. Students and teachers become problem solvers together. You can encourage essential questioning by replacing "what" questions with "how" and "why." "How" and "why" questions require more than a simple yes or no answer.
In Filling the Toolbox: Classroom Strategies to Engender Questioning, Jamie McKenzie recommends that teachers ask students to think of questions that could be asked about a particular topic. encourage students to put questions into different categories, such as "why" or "how to."
Essential Questions and the Internet
What do essential questions have to do with the Internet? Essential questions teach students to use the Internet without wasting time on unproductive Web surfing. Teaching students to ask essential questions will help them be more critical of Web resources and more discriminating about the information they use.
More Resoures: (from Cynthia Sinsap on NCTE-Talk)
Guiding QuestionsGuiding Questions