• The “overarching ideas” that give meaning to facts.
• Help us make connections between past lessons, the present lesson, and future lessons
• Can transfer to other topics, fields, and adult life.
• Enduring understandings that help us to make meaningful connections in our learning – as students and as adults.
• Help students explore the big ideas through inquiry.
• Open-ended questions that have no simple “right” answer.
• Usually “How” and “Why” rather than “What, where, who.”
• Raise other important questions, often across subject boundaries.
Some sample essential questions
• How can we use design principles to organize ideas?
• Can color (rhythm, words, etc.) affect mood/emotions? How?
• How are visual images infused in our daily life and work?
• Why do certain themes recur in art (literature)?
• How do artists or musicians (or writers) use their tools and techniques to express ideas?
• How do artists or musicians (writers, poets, etc.) get their ideas?