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Our lesson plans are written and reviewed by educators using current research and the best instructional practices and are aligned to state and national standards. Choose from hundreds of topics and strategies.



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Grades 3 – 12
Printout Type Graphic Organizer
Inquiry Chart (I-Chart)



This printout assists students with generating meaningful questions about a topic and organizing their writing by using a structured guide while researching.

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Before beginning this strategy, decide on a topic that students will be exploring and collect appropriate resources (books, magazines, websites, etc.).  Or, if you choose to have students self-select a topic, arrange for time to be spent in the library or in a computer lab with internet access.  Provide each student with a blank copy of the printout and assist with topic selection or provide a pre-selected topic.  Have a class or group discussion about the topic(s) that students will be working with.  You may choose to have a formal discussion, complete with an organizer such as a K-W-L Chart, or you may have an informal discussion where students simply share their thoughts aloud.

Students should spend time during the "inquiry" phase researching the questions that they wrote in the top row of their printout, or things they “want to know.”  As they find information about their questions, they should record their findings from the different sources.  After gathering information from multiple sources to answer each of their questions, students should use the “Summary” row as a place to write a concise sentence or two about what they learned about each question while researching.


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  • Ask students to resolve competing ideas discovered during their research or develop new questions to explore based on any missing or conflicting information
  • Once students’ I-Charts are complete, they can be used to help organize their writing for an informational essay on the topic they chose to research, as well as other research-related projects.


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Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey

Students are guided through an informal exploration of nonfiction texts and child-oriented Websites, learning browsing and skimming techniques for the purpose of gathering interesting information.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project

Students learn about organic gardening by developing their own research questions, conducting research, gardening at their school, creating signs about their plants, and presenting their research to the class.