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Tara Wood

on 25 February 2014

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Transcript of Inquiry-Based

How Can Inquiry-Based Learning Work in Our English Classrooms?
Inquiry-Based Instruction
develops student ownership of their inquiry and enhances student interest in the subject matter

engages students in investigating real world questions they choose within a broader framework.
teaches problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content
promotes the transfer of concepts to new problem questions
teaches students how to learn and builds self-directed learning skills
“Understanding the facts of a story or a content area is of undisputed importance. But for these facts to come to life, they need to be connected to larger patterns of meaning; they need to be in the service of topical research, critical inquiry, and literacy, and they need to be functional and applicable to the world beyond the text.”
What do you think?
How can the idea of investigating real world questions apply to the English classroom?
What kinds of broader contexts/frameworks can we provide for our students?
To what extent can power change a person?
How do family and social class influence one's perspective?

Reframing Topics as Essential Questions

Romeo & Juliet:
Raisin in the Sun:


Brighton Beach Memoirs:

What makes a good relationship?
How do music and poetry work for/against social change?
How does one's race/gender/class affect his dreams or goals?
Why should people share their stories?
What I learned about Inquiry-Based Learning at NCTE
Teachers are re-organizing units of studies into student-centered, teacher-supported inquiry learning plans.
Teachers using inquiry have experienced an increase in student engagement.

How does audience and context affect the style of text?

Students learn when an essential question captivates them.
Students learn when they engage process, not product.
Students learn when they become authorized knowledge-constructors.
How can writing be crafted so it influences a reaction from its audience?
What's Next?
Engage in and model inquiry in your classroom. (In Socratic Seminar, close reading, class discussion, etc . . .)
Work backwards. Design an end-of-unit performance assessment with a question(s) to be answered. Use those questions to focus a unit of study.
Provide multiple essential questions before beginning a unit and allow students to choose and work through the unit in inquiry groups.
Try centering a unit - and its final performance assessment - around an essential question(s).
Inquiry in ELA can work with one major text or a selection of major texts, a skill, or a concept.
The inquiry process must be scaffolded.
Benefits of
Using Inquiry in Unit Design:
Essential Questions can . . .
* focus close reading
Tying it Together with Inquiry:
A Unit Plan
Student Choice,
Student Control
provide students with a choice of essential questions to approach the unit/text/concept.
In these ways, students are beginning their investigations and explorations of the topic and gathering responses to the question.
* determine Socratic Seminar questioning and text choices
* inspire the idea-gathering stage of Writing Workshop
* determine research topics; drive research
Scaffolding the Inquiry Process to Arrive at Student Independence, One Example :)
model and scaffold over the course of a year - provide essential questions for 1st mp; work students towards developing their own questions by 4th mp.
MP 1:
MP 2:
MP 3:
MP 4:
Teacher feedback and formative assessment is crucial for success.
Teacher models the Inquiry Process, Students Participate & Practice
Teacher Models & Directs the Inquiry Process, Students Participate, Practice & Find Supplemental Sources

Student Directs the Inquiry Process with Teacher Feedback and Checkpoints
the sources

Performance Assessment
“Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn't ask ourselves what it says but what it means...”
remember that the nature of your question can serve the unit focus (narrative, expository, argument)
Student Directs Most of the Inquiry Process with Teacher Facilitation & Feedback
Full transcript