Fortify inquiry with our megalist of 200 essential questions across subjects!

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Questions have an unquestionable place in learning. When asked by students, they facilitate deep, organic, joyful, and lasting learning. When posed to students, questions enable them to enter new and challenging realms of thinking. 

Essential questions are open-ended questions that naturally recur. They are different from guiding questions or factual questions. For example, ‘how many legs does a spider have’ is a non-essential question, while ‘how are form and function related in biology?’ is an essential question. They can spark lively discussions and nurture curious, self-driven learners.

This resource is a mega list of 200 questions that seeks to inspire and support teachers in cultivating meaningful classroom experiences.

Use this resource to:

  • Explore a plethora of questions across subject areas
  • Browse appropriate questions for your context, subject, and grade level
  • Get inspiration to formulate your own essential questions
Jay McTighe
Author, Consultant and Co-creator of the UbD framework

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Disclaimer - This resource has been produced independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s resources seek to encourage sharing of perspectives and innovative ideas for classroom teaching & learning. They are not intended to be replacements for official IB guides and publications. Views and opinions expressed by the authors of these resources are personal and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing ideas and strategies shared within these resources in your classroom.
Jay McTighe
Jay McTighe is a veteran educator, having served as a teacher, resource specialist, program coordinator, and director of a state program for gifted students. He is an accomplished author, having co-authored 18 books, including the award-winning and best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins. His books have been translated into fourteen languages. Jay has also written more than 50 book chapters, articles and blogs, and been published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD), Edutopia and Education Week. Jay has an extensive background in professional development and is a regular speaker at state, national and international conferences and workshops. He has made presentations in 47 states within the United States, in 7 Canadian provinces, and internationally in 38 countries on six continents.
Classroom Strategies, Curriculum Planning
A Megalist of Essential Questions
Essential questions are open-ended questions that naturally recur. They enable students to make meaning rather than simply take or receive them. They help students truly understand ideas by driving them to ponder, edit, debate, and discuss these questions. Essential questions are different from guiding questions or one-time classroom questions, and require careful consideration on the part of the teacher formulating them, and students who approach them.

Well-formulated essential questions can create space for lively and detailed discussion and debate, nurturing engaged and curious learners. These questions are important tools for teachers seeking to foster inquiry in their classrooms, and crafting them can be an essential skill to master. This resource is a go-to megalist of 200 questions (50 per each subject - English, Math, Science, and Social Studies) that seeks to inspire and support teachers in cultivating meaningful classroom experiences.