What is a Big Idea? by Grant Wiggins - Author of Understanding By Design. Nobody can be a good reasoner unless by constant practice he has realized the importance of getting hold of the big ideas and of hanging onto them like grim death.– A.
N. Whitehead, 1929 What is a “big idea”? An idea is “big” if it helps us make sense of lots of confusing experiences and seemingly isolated facts. It’s like the picture that connects the dots or a simple rule of thumb in a complex field. A big idea is thus a way of seeing better and working smarter, not just a vague notion or another piece of knowledge. If an idea is “big” it helps us make sense of things. A genuine idea is thus not a “mere” idea. Similarly, in literacy or history teaching, the important “themes” are big ideas.
In science, the most illuminating hypotheses are the big ideas of science. In short: think of “big” as “powerful” not as a large abstract category. a powerful idea vs. a mere abstraction John Dewey – as we might expect – articulated the notion of a useful idea long ago. Focusing on Big Ideas and Key Issues - LearnAlberta. [Download Printable Version] Beginning with the Program Rationale and Philosophy on page one of the program of studies, the first ten pages of the document provide an overview of the foundations of the program.
All of the grade/course levels are based on the program foundations. The core concepts of citizenship and identity are foundations for the Social Studies Kindergarten to Grade 12 program of studies. The program reflects multiple perspectives including, for historical and constitutional reasons, Aboriginal and Francophone that contribute to Canada’s evolving realities. For the Kindergarten through Grade 9 programs, each grade is organized around a theme or a big idea that is reflected in the grade title. Kindergarten–9 Organization. Alberta Assessment Consortium : Big Ideas. BC Education Big Ideas. Essential Questions. Model Essential Questions Social Problems/Health • Who is hungry and what are the effects of hunger?
• What does it mean to be healthy? Language Arts • What is courage? Science • Why do organisms die? History/Cultural Values • Who was/is a great person? Math • What is measurable? More tips for essential questions... How do you engage students deeply in the content of the curriculum? In my 31st year of teaching, I can honestly say that all of my classes are turbocharged with energy.
The difference is, I now use essential questions that set the class off on an inquiry. In the field of cognitive science, inquiry is defined as “the rigorous apprenticeship into disciplinary ways of knowing,” and that’s just what it should look like in the classroom. What Is an Essential Question? An essential question frames a unit of study as a problem to be solved.
Essential questions can be geared toward uncovering a topic. Likewise, you can proceed from the kind of composing you want students to do. Working with Big Ideas of Science. Sample unit based on an essential question. Grade 2 Teaching Unit: A Day in the Life GE 2.1: Canada's Dynamic Communities Print this Teaching Plan Time Frame Essential Question General Outcome Specific Outcomes Connect with the Essential Question Examine and Explore the Essential Question Respond to the Essential Question Quick Assessment Time Frame Consideration: This teaching plan should be part of a cross-curriculum study with Language Arts.
"Connect" – 4 hours Flat Stanley Journal – ½ hour homework of writing about daily events journal entries – ½ hour homework, including 1 weekend date Examine and Explore – 9 – 12 hours Respond to the Essential Question: 3 hours Quick Assessment – 1 hour. The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet. Critical thinking skills truly matter in learning.
Why? Because they are life skills we use every day of our lives. Everything from our work to our recreational pursuits, and all that’s in between, employs these unique and valuable abilities. Consciously developing them takes thought-provoking discussion and equally thought-provoking questions to get it going. Begin right here with the Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet.
It’s a simple infographic offering questions that work to develop critical thinking on any given topic. How Does It Work? Critical thinking is thinking on purpose. The Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet includes categories for Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. In these questions you’ll find great potential conversation starters and fillers. Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet for Printing You can grab an 11x17 PDF file of the Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet for quick and easy printing. We really hope you enjoy this cheatsheet. eBook - Solving 25 problems in Unit design : How Do I Refine My Units to Enhance Student Learning? Ask the Right Questions - Article from Science & Children. CUE Booklist - Questioning in the Classroom. CUE Library Booklist - Critical Thinking.