Make a big difference with Big Questions

The biggest and most visible aspect of Understanding by Design is the Big Question that frames the instruction in every unit. Big Questions focus instruction to help students make connections and deepen their understanding of literature and of themselves.

Introducing the Big Question

At the beginning of each unit, students are introduced to the
Big Question with activities that encourage them to think about it, discuss it, and write about it. Students are also introduced to
Big Question vocabulary, academic vocabulary essential to understanding the Big Question. These words appear throughout the unit and are featured in the BQ Tunes and Vocabulary Central activities on PHLitOnline.

Beginning of the Unit

Using Big Questions During Reading

Making Connections

Before every selection,
brief Big Question activities help students connect the Big Question to the selection they’re about to read.

Critical Thinking

After the selection, students reconnect with the Big Question, relating it to what they have just read.

Applying the Big Question

At the end of every unit, students think, talk, and write about how the Big Question can change over time.

How is Pearson Literature California different?

Pearson Literature California is the only program that incorporates true Big Questions before, during, and after each selection–students revisit the same Big Questions over 30 times in a unit. Organizing standards instruction around Big Questions provides relevance and motivation. With Pearson Literature’s Big Questions, students truly gain a deeper understanding of literature as their thinking of the Big Questions continually evolves.


Want to Learn More?

Download this Professional Development article entitled, "Teaching Literature by Design: Introducing Big Questions".

See For Yourself!

Download your free copy of the "Big Question Evaluator's Checklist" so you can compare Pearson Literature California with other literature programs.

Grant Wiggins - Contributing AuthorGrant Wiggins
Contributing Author

“The big-idea questions signal that education is not just about learing 'the answer' but about learning how to learn
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