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  • HI Sara:


    I think part of  the trick is to consider that essential question have to be both debatable--they are questions for which they may not be a CORRECT  single answer  AND they have to cut across time and place AND they should be engaging for students. I think you're getting stuck in the details of colonial America and you recognize that the questions there now are not terribly good fits with ANY of the criteria above. SOOooo let's back up. Do you want students to use colonial America to explore the idea of push and pull factors--that people move for reasons and colonial America is a microcosm of those factor??

    The second essential question deals with why settlers in the NE, middle Atlantic and Southern colonies developed VERY different societies.  It seems that the differing believes, values and goals of the people, the different environmental/geographic factors they encountered here, the different political structures they brought with them and other factors combined to produce the differences.  Is there a way to capture this in a sentence that explored something debatable, enduing and of interest to the students-- if you can't conjure up a question, let's revisit this.


    Under "Undestandings" I would use describe as the verb. "Understand" is so vague it gives no clue to the level of knowledge. Understanding can mean both the level of knowledge needed to complete a matching item OR to write an essay -- VERY different levels of "Understanding" but both equally acceptable if you use that term. Try to use verbs associated with different levels in Blooms taxonomy!


    You're going to need to expand the unit IF you really want students to analyze WHY differences emerged almost from the beginning across the colonies. You may want to help them by providing a frame work that might have categories  such as reason for coming, source of governing authority, local geography, economic activity, values and beliefs --these are merely suggestive and NOT definitive!

  • Thanks Sara! This is FABULOUS!
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