What's the Big Idea?: Question-Driven Units to Motivate Reading, Writing, and Thinking

What's the Big Idea?: Question-Driven Units to Motivate Reading, Writing, and Thinking

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by Jim Burke
     
 

"Because when students' instruction is organized around meaningful, clear questions," writes Jim Burke in What's the Big Idea?, "they understand better, remember longer, and engage much more deeply and for greater periods of time."

Jim shows how planning around essential questions eases the tension between good teaching and teaching to the test, while giving

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Overview

"Because when students' instruction is organized around meaningful, clear questions," writes Jim Burke in What's the Big Idea?, "they understand better, remember longer, and engage much more deeply and for greater periods of time."

Jim shows how planning around essential questions eases the tension between good teaching and teaching to the test, while giving students tools to:

grapple with content and deepen comprehension

make learning stick by connecting it to texts, to students' experiences, and to the world

clarify and extend their thinking through questions

improve achievement by honing academic language and skills

"Questions can address your concerns and help students succeed in school and at work," writes Jim, "as well as achieve a sense of purpose in their personal lives." The only question now is, Are you ready to change your student's learning and lives?

The question Jim Burke has always tried to answer is How can we teach our students better? He began this search at Burlingame High School in California, where he still teaches. He shared his experiences in bestselling Heinemann professional titles such as The English Teacher's Companion, Reading Reminders, and Writing Reminders as well as through Heinemann Professional Development Services. Later, he founded the English Companion Ning, described by Education Week as "the world's largest English department." Jim continues to find and support best practices by serving on national commissions, such as the Advanced Placement English Literature and Language Course and Exam Review Commission, and as a senior author on the Holt McDougal Harcourt Literature series.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780325021577
Publisher:
Heinemann
Publication date:
02/02/2010
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
512,278
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

Why Do Questions Matter in Curriculum? 1

An Introduction

Sample Unit 1 An Intellectual Rite of Passage 22

Engaging Students with Essential Questions

Sample Unit 2 Spirited Inquiry 46

Creating Questions to Access a Challenging Text

Sample Unit 3 Natural Curiosity 74

Using Questions to Explore Relationships

Sample Unit 4 Meaningful Conversations 130

Essential Questions as a Way into Required Texts

Using Essential Questions to Design Your Own Units 154

Some Final Thoughts

Appendices

Appendix A Of Mice and Men Chapter-by-Chapter Reading Notes and Questions 162

Appendix B The Academic Essentials Planning Grid 169

Appendix C The Big Questions 170

Appendix D Designing a Standards-Based Curriculum 176

Appendix E Unit Planning Sheet 180

Works Cited 181

Study Guide 184

Index 193

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