Big 6 Resources

1. Task Definition

Define The Information Problem

  • What does this assignment require me to do?
  • What will my product/project look like if I do a really good job?
  • What problem needs to be solved?

Ask your teacher to explain if the assignment seems vague or confusing. Think about and decide on the appropriate technology needed to complete the task.

Identify information needed to complete the task (to solve the information problem)

  • What information do I need in order to do my task?
  • How much information do I need?
  • What type of information do I need? (e.g. facts, opinions, graphics, charts, maps)

Questions for K-2 students to ask:

  • What am I supposed to do?
  • What will the result look like if I do a really good job?
  • What do I need to make to show what I learned?
  • What do I need to find out about in order to do the job?

by: Barbara A. Jansen -

Coming up with Topic Ideas:

Asking Good Questions:

  • Defining Essential Questions:
    • often involves a moral or ethical dilemma and/or address issues of bias or perspective.
    • has no right or wrong answer
    • probes for deeper meaning and sets the stage for further questioning
    • centers around major issues, problems, concerns, interests, or themes that are relevant to your students' lives
    • can cover several disciplines

  • Examples
    • What is the best strategy for reducing the impact of acid rain in the United States?
    • How does the use of voice enhance a story?
  • For ideas on creating and asking essential questions, go to Creating Essential Questions.

  • The Question Mark - Jamie Mackenzie's journal devoted to questions, questioning, sound intelligence, strategic reading and quality teaching.

  • Questioning Toolkit - Questioning strategies from Jamie Mackenzie (1997).

  • From Now On - another educational journal by Jamie Mackenzie. (You can subscribe to get his articles via email.)

Graphic Organizers for Task Definition

  • Chain of Events: Use to plan problem-solving process.
  • Fishbone Mapping: Use to identify problem causes and interrelationships between them and the problem.
  • Cycle: Use to show interactions between events.

Online Resources:

The "Big6™" is copyright © (1987) Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz. For more information, visit: