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Driving Question Boards (DQB) is an instructional tool to attend to the Science and Engineering Practice of Asking Questions and Designing Solutions, but it serves many purposes: 

1. elicit student prior knowledge and questions about the driving question

2. organize student questions and group them by common themes to visit/address

3. serve as a parking lot throughout the unit

4. provide a visual representation of the students' collaborative thinking

5. engage students in the process of asking questions, to then aid in planning and carrying out investigations

The DQB can be provide magical opportunities of leveraging lived experiences, providing voice to drive the learning, illuminating lightbulbs through ah-ha moments, and when students lift questions you have already planned for - you'll be jumping for joy on the inside. It is a routine that is revisited throughout the unit, first at the beginning of the unit, then as you progress through the storyline to see what questions have been answered, and if more have surfaced. Some anchor the learning in the DQB daily or with each lesson. 

Read, Explore, and Watch below to learn more about the instructional practice, how to, and digging deeper on Question Formulation. DQB can be anchored in SEP 1 - Asking Questions and Designing Solutions, 

Note: this is different from a Summary Table or KLEWS chart, although there is space for questions in a KLEWS chart as well. 




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Having read, watched, and explored many resources around Driving Question Boards and supporting students with Asking Questions, it's time to put it into action. It all starts with a plan.

Many curricular resources will have supports and plans in place for a DQB (or whatever they may call it), but it is still helpful to go through the planning process at the beginning of the unit. This may be completely new for students beyond the surface level KWL they may have experienced before. It is critical to plan not only for how you will facilitate the initial DQB, but what scaffolds or supports are needed, how will you get students to ask better questions, and how will you use this throughout the unit. 

Here is a planning tool to help ask yourself some questions before your next unit. Feel free to add more information, it is just a starting place. 



In the words of Nike, "Just do it!" Give it a try and see how it goes. Now that you have planned for it, use a DQB to start your next unit. Want help? Let's connect and we can talk through it. 

To get credit for this learning, submit an image of your DQB created by students. To submit your work for this module, use this Google Form. 


Driving Question Boards are just the start of getting students to ask engaging questions and seek learning in science. Sometimes the right question (or the wrong question) can lead to a great scientific discovery. 

REFLECT: Consider ways you can make this a manageable part of your instructional routine or practices. It doesn't have to be huge, it doesn't have to take a whole class period; set limits or ways that make it a manageable step. Do other subject areas have a similar practice that might help students throughout the day (does everyone call it something different)?

SHARE: Are other science teachers in your building/school using this in their instruction? Could you invite them in to observe a DQB with students? Could you share at a department meeting? 

Of course, feel free to reach out for support, I'd be happy to work through it with you. 

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