This toolkit empowers students to pursue inquiry as a path for deep learning through connection, curation, and commitment. Too often students race through research eager to develop a product or performance which is built on superficial understanding or inaccurate information. We provide a step-by-step process for students to anchor in a question that resonates with them, curate resources to explore the questions further, and then consider possible products or performances for demonstrating their learning.
How do we slow down the inquiry process to focus on growing more thoughtful research skills before learners rush to doing a project/assignment? This toolkit focuses on the posing and pursuing of questions as a deliberate set of skills and habits that can be used across grade levels and content areas. The five P&Ps provide a workflow to engage learners in generating questions, sorting through multiple sources, synthesizing and summarizing their learning before imagining a way to communicate their findings.
Tool 1: Awakening Curiosity
This protocol is designed to slow down learners’ thinking as they become curious about a topic, phenomenon, or concept.
Tool 2: Crafting Compelling Questions
This process is designed to deepen engagement with research to grow more sophisticated and compelling questions.
Tool 3: Growing Through the Inquiry Spiral
The inquiry spiral provides a series of steps, with suggested dispositions and metacognitive questions, that lead the learner through a process of generating, refining, and refocusing their questions to further their research.
Tool 4: Examining Research Sources and Documenting Information
This process offers suggested ways to organize and guide learners’ documentation of information by clarifying each source, key details, and impact on thinking.
Tool 5: Bridging Synthesis of Research to Possible Creation
This process and practice offers a bridge to a demonstration (e.g., performance, media presentation, essay) that is launched based on the investigative inquiry they pursued.