Definitions of Terms Used in Overarching Critical Inquiries
Select a term to see the definition
Definitions of Terms
Background information materials are documents that provide information for students to access in order to address a specific Critical Challenge. These Background Information documents can only be accessed through the Critical Challenge to which they apply.
Critical Challenge (CC)
Specific critical thinking lessons, called Critical Challenges (CCs), might be undertaken in pursuing the larger Overarching Critical Inquiry. The suggested CCs are illustrative of the questions or tasks that would engage students in thinking critically about various components of the overarching inquiry.
A graphic organizer is a visual representation of information, such as a chart or Venn diagram.
Lesson materials are ready-to-use instructional materials that are essential for the completion of the suggested activities in a specific Critical Challenge. These Lesson Materials can only be accessed through the Critical Challenge to which they apply.
Modelling the Tools
Modelling the Tools are detailed teaching suggestions that illustrate how teachers might help students develop a particular array of critical thinking skills that have wide applicability in the social studies curriculum. These lesson plans address the "tools" required for various tasks — from asking questions and interpreting pictures to solving problems and taking social action. These lessons can be accessed through the specific Critical Challenges to which they apply or through a search. Modelling the Tools resources can be adapted for use at different grade levels and for different contexts.
Overarching Critical Inquiry (OCI)
The critical thinking components of the online resources for each grade level are organized around several Overarching Critical Inquiries (OCIs). The purpose of each OCI is to cluster the teaching of many specific outcomes under a central idea. Each OCI includes a sampling of Critical Challenge activities that may be undertaken in pursuing the inquiry. The term "critical" indicates that the inquiries focus on large questions or issues that require critical judgement. The OCIs described for each grade level are intended merely to suggest the possibilities and to provide considerations for instructional planning.
Support Materials are ready-to-use instructional and assessment materials to support teachers in implementing the described teaching activities. These materials may include instructional strategies, materials for assessing student achievement, and graphic organizers and other charts to help students organize their thinking. Support Materials can be accessed through the specific Critical Challenges to which they apply or through a search. Support Material resources can be adapted for use at different grade levels and for different contexts.
Teacher Support Material
Resources that provide instructions and/or examples to support teaching; often less structured and more general in scope than lesson plans.