15 Questions for Essential Questions

Decorative: "Essential Questions"


"A Baker's Dozen -- 13 Questions to Help You Determine if Yours are Essential Questions" (part of a web page) presents a series of yes/no questions to help you differentiate your essential from your non-essential questions.

  • See "Essential Questions 101" for the seven defining characteristics of a good essential question and lists of sample essential questions.

The 13 (actually 15) questions for your questions:

  • "Is the question meaningful and purposeful?"
  • "Is the question open-ended? Is it one that can be revisited, or has been revisited over time?"
  • "Does the question require support, rationale, or justification, not just an answer or response?"
  • "Does the question lead students to ask other questions?" 
  • "Does the question appeal to or trigger emotional responses?"
  • "Does the question encourage intellectual examination and responses?"
  • "Does the question center on a topic that is relevant to students? Is it a major issue, a problem, of particular interest or concern to their generation?"
  • "Does the question encourage discussion and/or collaboration?"
  • "Does the question ask the student to consider moral or ethical issues?"
  • "Does the question encourage discourse, discussion, or debate?"
  • "Does the question ask the learner to make a decision(s), create a plan of action, or come to a conclusion after examining related facts and issues?"
  • "Does the question encourage higher levels of cognitive processing – analysis, inference, evaluation, predicting, synthesis or creation?" 
  • "Does the question lead the learner to important, transferable, applicable ideas that may cross disciplines or subjects, or help unite varied disciplines?" 
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