Essential Questions, Part 1

“What is Love?” – questions from the not so questioning…

So I’ve been thinking about questions lately, and love, since Valentine’s day is coming up and, well here’s an activity where two great tastes that taste great together, love and inquiry.


  • Tell students that you are going to have an activity to generate questions, to stimulate inquiry.
  • Have students generate any questions they have with Love.  What do they really want to know about it?  What do the know that they would want to learn more about?  Encourage them to think from the learning goals and think expansively. You may want them to each write at least one on a post-it (one per post-it) and bring it to the front of the room to share.
  • Categorize these for them -(group them).  You can use any framework about questioning that you are comfortable with: open ended vs. closed ended questions, five basic types (factual, convergent, divergent, evaluative, combination), lower order and higher order, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. All of these show different levels of questioning and can help in a conversation with students to ask questions from different levels and develop their skills at more critical thinking.
  • Have students review  the Blooms Taxonomy Sentence starters (or any other inquiry framework) or this Blooms Question Sampler.  You may choose to have the group focus on one level of or questioning or divide into small groups.
  • Once they have looked this over, have students generate 3-5 more questions each with various levels.  (You may want to put the levels on the board and have them write or post their new questions in the correct category).
  • You might ask them to choose the one question that interests them the most – journal on this and why it is intriguing to them.  Have students keep the list of types of questions so you can begin reinforcing that with other activities.


  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy; Blooms Question Sampler
  2. Five Basic Types of Questions
  3. Lower order vs. Higher order
  4. Blooms Sentence Starters (PDF)
  5. What is Love – Haddaway Video; SNL Spoof Compilation


  • So what IS love?  Write a journal entry, poem, paint a picture, write a song, choreograph a dance, make a photo essay, etc that presents your definition.


One thought on “Essential Questions, Part 1

  1. rachel says:

    Great activity! I love the idea of using an inquiry framework like Bloom’s Taxonomy to build habits of mind. Very metacognitive!

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