I is for Inquiry

Bruce M. Shore, Ph.D.Mark Wesley Aulls, Ed.D.Diana Tabatabai, Ph.D.Juss Kaur Magon, D.Phil., Authors

I is for Inquiry takes a unique approach to helping teachers in the elementary grades create lessons and sustain inquiry in their classrooms. This colorful, illustrated alphabet book explores 26 (including X and Z) key ideas and skills in inquiry-based teaching and learning, such as collaboration, dialogue, evidence, hypothesis, and scaffolding. Each short chapter summarizes one inquiry element that can be built into students’ experiences using straightforward language, a classroom vignette, suggestions for using the concept, and selected references and related Internet-based resources. Teachers are busy people, especially early in their careers, and this book will be a familiar and fun resource as they are building self-confidence about teaching through inquiry. Using the inquiry vocabulary and repertoire of concepts, teachers can build curriculum and share ideas with colleagues, making inquiry in the classroom as approachable as ABC!

Download the Inquiry Element Illustrations

Click here to download a zip file of the inquiry element illustrations. (Note: These resources are available here for single classroom use only. Please visit our copyright permissions page to learn more about our copyright policies.)

See Inquiry Elements in Action

Click on the links below to access resources shared in the book.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A is for Activity

Edutopia. (2010). Music and dance drive academic achievement [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISTUqQeXPcM

ErinWeberTeacher. (2016). Process writing: Brainstorming [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArT9qQC1Vsc 

The Science Learning Hub, University of Waikato. (2015). Making predictions [Video]. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/videos/1583 

Ward, Y. (2015). How to structure an inquiry based lesson [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOWn6DZrQ40

Watson, M. (2017). Brainstorming lesson [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcWYRcsOfjM 

B is for Beginning

Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium. (2016). Inquiry in social studies – A lesson from grade one [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIvcIw04M74

Spencer, J. (2017). What is inquiry-based learning? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlwkerwaV2E 


C is for Collaborating

Kerkhoff, S. (2019). Jigsaw collaborative learning strategy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGLLhlkuaOg 

Reading Rockets. (2012). Jigsaw [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtm5_w6JthA

Wufei87. (2018). Cooperative vs collaborative [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwvtfYa169k 


D is for Dialogue

ConceptuaMath. (2013). Rich classroom discussions in math [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0_xDd5UyAU

Edutopia. (2019). 60-second strategy: Traverse talk [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUaPYSBi6pI

Grigg, J. (2016). Paired discussion [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFZXDanSlwY 

WatergrassElementary. (2014). Great debate—Facebook for kids yes v no [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsYUKRuphQI


E is for Evidence

Humanists UK. (2014). “How do we know what is true?” narrated by Stephen Fry – That’s humanism! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk5IWzTfWeM

Massachusetts DESE. (2015). 5th grade English group presentations [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvAOyVVy67A 


F is for Facilitating

Edutopia. (2019). Why inclusion matters on the playground [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX5RuM3L1Ic

Joseph, S. (2013). Learning through inquiry with Kate Murdoch [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNLOwXVGn2M 


G is for Goals

Edutopia. (2014). Grit curriculum lesson: Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9xMTGjsZPo

Ejiofor, C. (Director). (2019). The boy who harnessed the wind [Film]. United Kingdom: BBC Films & Participant Media. 

JFF. (2013). Self-assessment: Reflections from students and teachers [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkFWbC91PXQ 

Lee, J. (2015). Inquiry based learning with Dot and Dash [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDvSBo-uoBE 


H is for Hypothesis

Edutopia. (2015). Inquiry-based learning: From teacher-guided to student-driven [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAYh4nWUkU0

Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2017). Higher order thinking [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHa99yXJk2Y

The Science Learning Hub, University of Waikato. (2015). Revisiting predictions [Video]. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/videos/1585


I is for Interests

Edutopia. (2016). Interest-based electives: Engaging students with STEAM explorations [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYfjdRWb7d0

Edutopia. (2019). A student-driven approach to experiential learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0NJx23f0iI

Storypark. (2016). What are children really interested in? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW15h8aFlzY 

Wabisabi Learning. (2019). 10 exciting primary school STEM projects kids will love exploring. https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/primary-school-stem-projects


J is for Juxtaposing

Challenging Learning. (2015). James Nottingham’s learning challenge (learning pit) animation [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IMUAOhuO78

Gracyk, T. (2016). Charles Dickens poem it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djz4QL-zRmc 

McGraw-Hill PreK–12. (2014). How to teach students to compare and contrast [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtGzwoVCO4E


K is for Knowledge

Edutopia. (2019). Teaching self-regulation by modeling [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD9m5n-ZpB0

FableVision. (2017). The reflection in me [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9OOXCu5XMg

LSU Center for Academic Success. (2012). Bloom’s taxonomy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfp3x_qx5IM 

Lynn, K. (2013). Concept map video lesson [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--oqW7FOgkM 

MindTools. (2018). Seven ways to find what you want on the Internet: Gathering what you need, discarding what you don’t. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/internet-searching.htm 

PK Yonge DRS. (2016). Project-based learning: Inquiry, interest, and innovation [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwUuBKFncxI


L is for Listening

EngageNY. (2015). Teacher uses questioning techniques to engage students–Example 5 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdP99uF9mTc

Ma, M. L. (2013). How to be a good listener [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XUE3urz3Fc

TED. (2011). 5 ways to listen better | Julian Treasure [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSohjlYQI2A


M is for Meaning

Center for the Collaborative Classroom. (2013). Making meaning grade 1 lesson videos: Guided strategy practice [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DVBb7HRpRM

Knatim. (2010). Word study in action: Activating prior knowledge [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B3ZcDm7i-g


N is for Negotiating

C-VILLE Weekly. (2007). John Hunter explaining his World Peace Game. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOC0mrmIjHo

Edutopia. (2011). Peace helpers become classroom problem solvers [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhF3WgFjT88

Edutopia. (2012). Students learn the skill of conflict resolution in a multi-age class [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DazLm-VB-Ik

Mrs. Britton’s Book Nook. (2019). Hey, little ant [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehH6l6v5sYM 

TED. (2011). Teaching with the world peace game [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_UTgoPUTLQ


O is for Owning

Edutopia. (2013). How to get students ready for learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O8t__3Vu9I

Edutopia. (2019). Passion-driven research projects [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHcZlBPD00M 

Edutopia. (2013). Reframing failure as iteration allows students to thrive [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJyNxx82vGQ

Edutopia. (2019). Sparking curiosity with self-directed learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3vGXmGazJE 

Edutopia. (2015). Student-led conferences: Empowerment and ownership [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_WBSInDc2E

Edutopia. (2017). Thinkering studio: Supporting self-directed learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erm2Kokx8R0

Grow Waitaha. (2017). Play-based learning (and inquiry)–supporting learner agency: Part 3 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV212W8Ln-4 

MOE Singapore. (2013). Learning science through inquiry-based approach [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWnsxkfoQHo


P is for Process

Crombie, S. (2014). The benefits of inquiry-based learning [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ylmVT5lkck 

Edutopia. (2014). Students break the system of bullying in English class [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylsh33GrPYE 

McGraw-Hill PreK–12. (2018). Carol’s classroom: Inquiry [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20c6prOu6mU 

Nature video. (2016). The brain dictionary [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k61nJkx5aDQ


Q is for Questions

Edutopia. (2015). Inquiry-based learning: Developing student-driven questions [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdYev6MXTOA 

Institute for Inquiry. (n.d.). Snail investigation. https://www.exploratorium.edu/education/ifi/inquiry-and-eld/educators-guide/snail-investigation

OESSTA. (2014). How can I start to plan for inquiry? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5TgcuXdCjY 

Rusco, A. (2011). Bloom’s taxonomy feat. Harry Potter.m4v [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI4kZb0vLiY

TEDx Talks. (2014). The power of ummm. . . | Kath Murdoch | TEDxWestVancouverED [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFt15Ig64Yg


R is for Roles

Bri. (2012). Jigsaw activity [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6i7U_99BQY

Core Education. (2010). Changing roles of teachers and learners [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuYWUPirkqQ

Crombie, S. (2014). Teacher’s role in inquiry-based learning. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdVWb27z0Zc

Debroy, A. (2018). 5 best videos to refer for classroom strategies for inquiry based learning. EdTechReview. https://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/3337-5-best-videos-to-refer-for-classroom-strategies-for-inquiry-based-learning

Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium – ERLC. (2016). Inquiry in social studies [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goln0EntxYM

Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium – ERLC. (2016). Inquiry in social studies - Kelsey’s story [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JVOFrCORQ4 


S is for Sharing

KSmithSchool. (2013). 6th grade project presentation: Design a restaurant for your community [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekHPTO_5ry4

Ianimatestuff. (2012). Best 3rd grade speech ever!!! [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCrSxjppaA 

Reading Rockets. (2014). Students take charge: Reciprocal teaching [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My68SDGeTHI 

SanBdoCitySchools. (2019). Using reciprocal teaching to engage 3rd grade readers. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC032EkLC3A


T is for Talk Time

Aflatoun International. (2016). Aflatoun active learning methods: Teacher talking time vs student talking time [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiL1rtjOCpY

DePaul Teaching Commons. (2013). If I knew then, what I know now: Teacher talk vs. student talk [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckn2mdb0L5U

Edutopia. (2016). Oracy in the classroom: Strategies for effective talk [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ADAY9AQm54

Scholastic. (2017). Ten tips with Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst: Tip 1 teach more by talking less [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD2A9mD1RNE


U is for Uncertainty

NGS Navigators ((Producer). (2019, March 7). Productive uncertainty in elementary science with Dr. Eve Manz (No. 21) [Audio podcast episode]. https://www.ngsnavigators.com/blog/021

Physics Online. (2015). A level practical endorsement – percentage uncertainty for multiple readings [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YImQNPK3dK0

TED-Ed. (2014). What is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? – Chad Orzel [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQKELOE9eY4

Villa, S. A. (2016). Parallax error (how parallax error happens, how to avoid parallax error) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr50cmfR61o


V is for Valuing

Pinkston, C. (2016). Teaching children philosophy, or how 8-year-olds agree to disagree. University of Oregon. https://around.uoregon.edu/content/teaching-children-philosophy-or-how-8-year-olds-agree-disagree

RRFTS. (2014) JoanAndNathanTalk 5001 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMgZHeZTeFc 

Sami, O. (2019). Sam and the plant next door [Film]. Whatnot Film. https://aeon.co/videos/to-fight-a-nearby-nuclear-plant-11-year-old-sam-must-win-his-own-ethical-battle


W is for Who, What, When, Where, Why . . . and How

ESL Games Plus. (n.d.). Question words—What, where, who, why, when, which, how, grammar activity [Video game]. https://www.eslgamesplus.com/question-words-what-where-who-why-when-which-how-grammar-activity

Jack Hartmann Kids Music Channel. (2016). 6 questions | Fun reading & writing comprehension strategy for kids | Jack Hartmann [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bz4-1YKI1M 

Nick Jr. (n.d.). Dora the explorer. http://www.nickjr.com/dora-the-explorer

Scratch Garden. (2013). The five W’s song | English songs | Scratch garden [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXWK1-L41f0

TheBazillions. (2018). “Who, What, When, Where, Why” by the Bazillions [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_E-N5y1r7g


X is for X

AITSL. (2017). Effective feedback animation [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjCzbSLyIwI 

Care.com. (2017). What is negative reinforcement? | Care.com [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6sU1rgcA9U 

Lerner, T. (2012). Critique and feedback – The story of Austin’s butterfly – Ron Berger [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms

OER4Schools. (2013). Shirley Clarke video on feedback [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGNp0AJte_c 


Y is for Yikes!

Edutopia. (2017). Cranking teaching strategies up to awesome [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A97RBq32kls

Vancouver Public Schools. (2013). The changing role of school librarians [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dy3xQgsi1o


Z is for ZPD

687moo. (2014). Zone of proximal development [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Im_GrCgrVA 

Asimow, J. (2013). Puzzles and the zone of proximal development. Math at Home. https://mathathome.org/puzzles-and-the-zone-of-proximal-development

Bcb704. (2012). Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BX2ynEqLL4 

Drmpcfl. (2010). ZoneOfProximalDev.mov [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu-rr2PRNkE

LBCC Learning Innovation Center. (2009). Scaffolding language development [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLXxcspCeK8