Essential questions and conversations

Mahatma-Gandhi_studio_1931
martin_luther_king_jr_nywts_4-1

Next school year could be confusing for everyone.

One thing is clear:  there is a great need for short, portable assignments to give to students which are meaningful, inspire conversations and will work in any environment (face-to-face, blended or virtual).

In that spirit, here’s something you can send students to foster some great conversations and get them to grapple with essential questions, using the ideas of some of our great historical and literary thinkers as prompts.

Each assignment is an editable Google form which has…

  • a provocative quote and theme and picture of the author
  • a student primer video
  • text fields where students write out the claim and counterclaim the author is making
  • space to answer an essential question

Click on the resources below and click “Make a Copy

Susan B. Anthony- Freedom: “Independence is happiness”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- Conflict: “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Mahatma Gandhi- Sacrifice:  “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

How do I use these?

  1. As a pre-writing activity before an essay.
  2. As a prep activity (entrance slip) before you have a conversation with the whole class
  3. As a follow-up reflective activity (exit slip) after the conversation
  4. As a stand-alone assignment if you don’t have time for a conversation at all!

They are ready for delivery.  Edit the forms as you wish and send them off to your students. Google automatically creates a spreadsheet with the responses!


These resources are courtesy of Teach Different, where you can sign up for conversation starters with a different quote every week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s