How to Choose Guiding, Compelling, Overarching, and Student-Friendly Questions in Social Studies
When creating a lesson plan for social studies, it is vital to use Guiding, Compelling, Overarching, and Student-friendly questions. The following are examples of these types of questions. Use them to guide your students and spark their interest in learning. And remember to include your student’s opinion! After all, they are the ones who will ultimately be using the materials and the material you are teaching. But how do you choose the right questions?
Teachers use guiding questions in a variety of ways to get students thinking about a subject. A good guiding question is open-ended and demands deeper thought. For example, the question “Whose America is it?” specifies the knowledge a student is seeking and invites wide-ranging discussion. This type of question can be used in K-12 curriculums. Here are a few tips for creating a good guiding question.
Guiding questions are designed to lead students to a higher thinking level and promote critical thinking. They call the student’s attention to details while fostering open-ended discussion. A guiding question should be accessible to students across disciplines. They can be used in activities, final projects, or discussions on a specific topic. In addition to guiding the student’s thinking, a guiding question can encourage deeper, more meaningful thinking.
One way to create compelling questions is to make them intellectually meaty. A compelling question should reflect a perennial issue or problem and draw from multiple disciplines. For example, the question, “Was the American Revolution revolutionary?” suggests a continuing debate about the question’s meaning. Then students must be required to analyze and critique the question from different disciplinary perspectives. This is where the compelling questions in social studies come in.
Using compelling questions in social studies is a proven way to elicit a critical thinking process in your students. Students can use textbooks and appropriate websites to gather facts. You can even involve students in the research process by asking them supporting questions about the question. In any case, a teacher can guide the research process. If your students ask compelling questions, they are more likely to think critically and develop deeper understanding of the topic.
A good essential question focuses students’ attention on a single concept or theme across the entire history of humankind. An essential question should not lead to one definite answer, but instead elicit multiple plausible responses. Whether it’s a social science topic or a historical event, a good essential question makes the information memorable and relevant. Listed below are examples of good essential questions. McTighe and Wiggins define them as a conceptual framework, key inquiries, and foundations of learning.
One way to use essential questions in the classroom is to write the overarching question on a big poster. These posters will act as a visual reference for students and teachers throughout the classroom. After brainstorming, create the poster to help students organize their thoughts and ideas. It’s also helpful to update these posters quarterly or after each unit to reflect the change in student understanding. By doing so, students can see their own progress and that of their fellow classmates.
A compelling question is one that will persist in a class for years to come, and points to a possible action or informed response. Students should have the opportunity to use curriculum content to communicate their conclusions, and they should be able to conduct meaningful service learning projects as well. Student-friendly questions in social studies are especially effective in fostering inquiry in the classroom. Here are some tips for selecting student-friendly questions for your next lesson.
Inquiry-based projects are a fun way to get students interested in a topic. These projects require students to gather information and vet it before presenting their findings. The students can create a paper, presentation, skit, or song about their findings. Typically, these projects are challenging, but they are often incredibly rewarding for students. Listed below are some examples of student-friendly social studies inquiry projects.
There are three major categories of Long-Term Goals for Social Studies. The first category includes the district-wide goal, which is taken directly from the guidelines of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). This category describes the overall objective of the social studies program: to prepare students to be rational, humane, and active citizens. The second category is the program-area goal, which should help students appreciate different values and understand how these differences impact their lives.
The last category is unit-level. This goal is phrased in purely descriptive language, which is trite for a 1st grade unit goal. It also makes no reference to sociological or anthropological concepts, or values or dispositions. This is a great example of a long-term goal that ends on the last day of school. In contrast, the first category focuses on the overall goal of social studies, which teaches students to understand the world around them and understand its problems.