Inquiry Based Learning Step by Step #4

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This post is #4 in a series.  CLICK HERE to go to post #1

Welcome back to my blog series about Inquiry Based Learning.  Last week I wrote about doing research with Primary students.

This week we’re going to focus on producing a final project.  Inquiry based learning usually ends up with the children producing something to showcase what they have learned.  I decided to simplify the project as it is the last month of the school year.  I provided a mini booklet for the kids to complete which could showcase their learning. 




First the children needed to write up a draft.  I provided them with a template which allowed them to write down the parts of a paragraph with 3 facts.  Once the children completed their draft outline, I went through them with each child.  We did this one-on-one to make sure that their draft was aligned to their inquiry question and that it made sense.  I corrected their grammar and spelling and offered suggestions which would make more sense.  Even after all the work we have done on this process, some children simply did not understand what they were supposed to do.  There were children who just copied down complex sentences from their internet notes.  Of course, this is not what I was looking for. 

With those 2 or 3 students who could not grasp this process, I asked them questions and together we wrote down their ideas in sentences which made sense and were not copied down from the internet.  Because this was the first time we tried this process, I understood that some kids just didn’t “get it”.  I believe that some children will need to go through this process many times and it could take a few years until they can complete an inquiry project by themselves.  So, at this point in the process, I just wanted to make sure that they could showcase what they already knew and not get caught up in the process if they didn’t understand.

Next the children completed their good copy or final project.  Each child wrote down their inquiry question.  Then they copied the sentences from their paper pictured above.  I then went through and corrected any more errors, and once their paragraph was done, they drew a picture on the final page that was related to their writing and wrote a caption (this is a picture of...).


And there you go.  The final projects were put out for the other children to read.  They loved looking at each other's work and reading the paragraphs.  Next week we will talk about the self-assessment part of this process. 

If you are interested in doing project based learning, I have many products in my TPT store specifically designed for this.  Click below to find out more.

CLICK HERE for project based learning and inquiry based learning resources.

Click on the photos below to go to the individual products.






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Inquiry Based Learning Step by Step #3

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This post is #3 in a series.  CLICK HERE to go to post #1

Welcome back to my blog series about Inquiry Based Learning.  Last week I wrote about our activities which helped the kids to come up with an inquiry question.

This week we’re going to focus on research.  Now as there were many different inquiry questions in the class, I wanted to give each child the chance to do their own research.  I started out with a few group lessons of reading a few books online with the class using the projector and the app EPIC.  It’s a great app, if you don’t already have it.  The books on it are great and it’s free.

Then we took a few periods to let the kids do their own individual research.  We used iPads and the website kiddle.co which is a kids version of google.  The students wrote down some notes.  After a week, I realized that kids were not actually taking very good notes.  They were copying down a lot of words from websites, but they didn’t understand what they meant, or even if it was related to their inquiry question.  So I realized I needed another strategy. 

I decided to ask the parents to help.  Now I work in a community where many parents work at 2 jobs or more.  They are very busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend with their kids.  Most of the parents are also immigrants and don’t always understand the school’s expectations.  So I knew that only a few kids might get this done with their parents, but I decided to give it a try anyway.


Well, I was pleasantly surprised.  I send the letter above home on a Friday.  2/3 of my class returned the notes the next Monday.  And by Wednesday all the kids had returned some sort of research.  I could tell which kids had continued to just write down words from the internet and which kids had actually had help from their parents, but at least they all returned another page of notes and most of them had facts related to their inquiry question. 



If you are interested in doing project based learning, I have many products in my TPT store specifically designed for this.  Click below to find out more.

CLICK HERE for project based learning and inquiry based learning resources.

Click on the photos below to go to the individual products.






Thanks for stopping by again today!
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