Engage - Challenge Based Learning


During the Engage Phase, the Learners move from an abstract big idea to a concrete and actionable challenge using the Essential Questioning process.  The goal is to personally connect with academic content through the identification, development, and ownership of a compelling challenge.

Big Ideas

A Big Idea is a broad concept that can be explored in multiple ways and is important to you and the larger community. Examples of big ideas include Community, Relationships, Creativity, Health, Sustainability, and Democracy.

Essential Questioning/Essential Question

By design, the big idea allows for the generation of a wide variety of essential questions that reflect personal interests and the needs of the community (e.g. Why is this important to me? Where does this concept intersect with my world? etc.).  At the end of the Essential Questioning process is the identification of one Essential Questions that has personal meaning.


• How do we build supportive communities?
• How can we improve relationships between groups in our school?
• What is creativity and why is it important?
• What is a healthy lifestyle?
• How do communities recover from disasters?
• How do we foster participation by all citizens in democracy?


The challenge turns the essential question into a call to action to learn deeply about the subject. A challenge is immediate, actionable and builds excitement.


• Build a supportive community!
• Improve relationships!
• Use creativity to improve someones life!
• Be healthy!
• Help a community recover from a disaster
• Involve Citizens in Democracy

The Engage phase concludes with the identification of a compelling and actionable Challenge statement.


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