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Name: __________________________________

Mr. Rosenau / Mr. Charest

8th Grade WEx
27 November 2017

Goal: ​Develop deep, non-Googleable questions for our Genius Hour topics

STEP 1: Generate questions 

1. Pick 3 potential topics for Genius Hour (this can be from your brainstorming on Friday, but it
does not have to be)
2. For EACH TOPIC, come up with 8 questions
3. Use the chart below to help you compile these questions

“Thin” Questions “Thick” Questions


What are they? What are they?

● Can be easily answered ● Harder to answer
● Can be answered with one word ● Needs evidence and support
● No discussion on how to answer ● Open-ended or has many different answers
● Can simply use Google or Siri ● Cannot be simply Googled or answered by Siri
● Surface-level questions ● Answers have depth

Usually start with: Can start with:

● Who… ● What is the impact…
● What… ● What is the influence…
● When… ● What if…
● Where... ● What is the result…
● How can you use…
● How could you…
● Why…
● How...

STEP 2: The Siri-test 

1. Ask each question to Siri, and see if Siri can easily answer it
2. Determine whether the questions are strong (“thick questions”) or weak (“thin questions”)
a. Put a “✓” next to questions that you still think are strong
b. Put an “X” next to questions that you think are weak

STEP 3: Question Checklist 
1. Look ONLY at the questions you put a “✓” next to
2. For each of those questions, see how many of the following conditions apply:
‼ The question is appealing to you.
͢ The question is concise.
ʏ The question has no easy answer.
ͽ The question taps into your interests and passions.
ʍ The question does not sound like a test question.
ʀ The question leads to more questions.
˨ There is more than one answer to the question.
̘ The topic is personal or local.
Ǎ You can relate to the question in your daily life.
Р You will have choices for your end products.
ʕ Other people will care about your question.
͈ The question requires serious investigation.
ℹ You will learn important skills and content in answering the question.
ʎ A project based based on this question can make a difference in the world.
3. CIRCLE each question that meets at least 7/14 of the above conditions

STEP 4: Branching questions 

1. Look at the questions you circled at the end of step 4, and pick the ONE QUESTION you think is
the best
2. Create a question web, with sub questions you might need to answer/address for the larger
a. Example: