Monday, December 3, 2007

A Sample Question Curriculum

In November, Center for Inspired Teaching presented at the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum in Denver, CO. Participants in our workshop put their heads together to create a "Question Curriculum" that offers several thought provoking ideas!

Participants began by brainstorming inspired questions their students might ask and then generated sub-questions, divided by subject area, that would address these larger ideas.

K-3 Question Curriculum
Inspired Question: Why is she mean to me?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
Social Skills
  • How can we include everyone?
  • What are ways we can support each other?
  • Do we know of periods of time where people were mean to each other?
Language Arts and Reading
  • Have you ever felt this way?
  • Has anyone read a story about people being mean to you?
  • How can writing help us solve our problems?
  • What would you say to someone who was mean to you?
  • Can you write a story about a time you solved a problem
  • about someone being mean to you?
  • How do you feel when someone is mean to you?
  • How can you tell how someone is feeling?
  • What did you notice when you did…?
  • Can we keep track of acts of kindness- tally marks, graph
Inspired Question: Why did my dog die?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
Social Skills
  • Have you experienced a loss?
  • Can you imagine what it feels like?
  • How can you help others?
  • What helped you?
Language Arts and Reading
  • Read books about loss and ask- how did you feel?
  • How can writing help you deal with your loss?
  • Life cycle- how do we care for ourselves?
  • What happens to our bodies?
  • How long do we live?
4-5 Question Curriculum
Inspired Question: Why is our world in conflict?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
  • Why did the Holocaust happen?
  • Why do we fight with people we love?
  • Why is gas so expensive?
  • How will global warming increase conflict?
Social Studies
  • Why are we in Iraq?
6-8 Question Curriculum
Inspired Question: Why are things unfair?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
  • How do we show that things aren’t fair?
  • What mathematical representations can illustrate unfairness?
Social Studies
  • Should things be unfair?
  • Is the justice system fair?
Language Arts and Literature
  • What is the definition of unfair?
  • What literature pieces give examples of fair/unfair?
  • Is ‘survival of the fittest’ fair?
  • How do we make environmental decisions?
  • Does advertising impose ideas of fairness/unfairness?
  • What areas of the arts are open to whom? Fair?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why are some people healthier than others?
Inspired Question: Why are illegal immigrants returned to Mexico?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
  • What is the demographic distribution of people in the United States and Mexico?
  • What is the relative income between Mexico and the United States?
Social Studies
  • What are nations? What are borders?
  • How do you choose where you live?
9-12 Question Curriculum
Inspired Question: Why can’t you just tell me?

Subject Area Sub-Questions
  • What is the difference between knowing something and understanding something?
  • How does discovery lead to new inventions?
Language Arts and Humanities
  • Why do you have to learn some things on your own and what experiences have you had on your own?
  • Why is there only one answer?

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