Unpacking the Inquiry Arc

This week I was part of an administrator professional development session about the social studies inquiry arc, and what specific things administrators should be looking for in these classes as teachers make some instructional shifts. Here were some of the thoughts about what might be happening in a classroom at different stages of the inquiry process:


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In the past, I have used this great YouTube clip of an Aziz Ansari stand up comedy performance, and I was kicking myself that I used another video at the start of the presentation. His point in this performance is spot on for the behaviors we see our student engage in both in and out of school, but there are certainly some relevant ideas in there about the types of literacy rich experiences that needs to be considered with the needs (or maybe demands?) of 21st century learners. Take a moment to watch the video, and then look at real student work:

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This was a great activity for students to start planning and developing inquiries, and the classroom is currently papered with awesome questions! The interesting part was that when students (students who have been taught research skills before, we are sure of it!) were asked to identify sources to answer the question, their default answer was generally Google or Wikipedia. These moments should not leave us disheartened, but rather they should excite and challenge us to think about how students explore and interact with the technology tools that can help them develop arguments and conclusions in their research.


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