The use of Generative Questions to Frame Inquiry

The use of a generative or essential question to guide inquiry is useful for many reasons.  This is the question that will drive teaching and learning and is the essence of the ‘issue’.  It creates a ‘need to know’ and provides scope for wonderings by the students regarding possibilities.  This question might prompt students to ponder and keep pondering throughout the learning, building on their own ideas and those posed by others.

Our Australian Curriculum guides us with such essential questions (HASS, Science and Health) and our STEAM inquiry units utilise these to create the overarching (or generative) question to drive our students to make an impact and to leave a legacy.

These questions or line of inquiry may change and evolve based on the work done in class and the direction the inquiry takes and what appears from the  ‘connecting phase’ within the cycle. The basic essence and direction however,  tends to remain the same.

Additionally, Within our STEAM inquiry units we are aiming to promote the use of critical and creative thinking at appropriate points of the cycle and a question of this type provides opportunities for both divergent thinking and convergent thinking when guided appropriately.

Our Semester Two units are framed by the following questions:


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6