Wednesday 9/27/2017 – OPENING: 30 minutes

It’s Hump-Day folks, and that means it’s time for ‘What’s The Big Idea?’. What? You didn’t know that?

Of course not, it’s our first time playing, but as with ’20 Questions’ and ‘Cite that Source’, it will be a weekly warm up for us so we get loads of practice with the skills needed to identify Big Ideas, and it’s these very Big Ideas that frame meaningful learning.

We’ll be reading this article about the 6th mass extinction and the food supply in order to kick off this new warm up.

When we’re done, you’ll work with your group to develop a list of at least 5 Big Ideas that you think this article touches upon. Keep in mind, Big Ideas aren’t necessarily the topic of the article, but maybe the article mentions them in passing, or touches on them, or maybe it just makes you THINK of something that is related.

A quick example. One of the big ideas that I see in this article is Population Growth. The article isn’t about population growth, but it does mention it, and that issue connects to the topic of this article AND many other issues. Population growth is relevant to food production, to economics, to politics, to migration, to war, to climate change, etc…

So your job is to come up with at least 5 Big Ideas in your group that connect to this article.

LESSON – 25 minutes

If we get past the warm up, we’ll look at the Engage phase of CBL – the phase that includes, you guessed it, the Big Idea. However, this is an important topic, so the warm up today may, in fact, take the entire class period.

If that’s the case, we’ll continue with it tomorrow.


  • Big Ideas drive learning.
  • Big Ideas connect topics and ideas.
  • Sometimes the Big Idea isn’t obvious.

Quote of the Week

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir


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