Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Download Acrobat Reader

To view our printable materials, you must download the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat software.

Download now


Lessons Plans

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.



Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.



HomeClassroom ResourcesPrintouts



E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)



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.

Teaching With This Printout

More Ideas to Try

Related Resources




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.


back to top

  • 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.


back to top


Grades   3 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Inquiry Charts (I-Charts)

This guide introduces I-Charts, a strategy that enables students to generate meaningful questions about a topic and organize their writing.


Grades   8 – 12  |  Strategy Guide

Promoting Student-Directed Inquiry with the I-Search Paper

The sense of curiosity behind research writing gets lost in some school-based assignments. This Strategy Guide provides the foundation for cultivating interest and authority through I-Search writing, including publishing online.


Planning for Inquiry: It's Not an Oxymoron!

Grades   K – 6  |  Professional Library  |  Book

Planning for Inquiry: It's Not an Oxymoron!

Planning for Inquiry shows you how to get an inquiry-based curriculum started, how to keep it going, and how to do so while remaining accountable to mandated curricula, standards, and programs.


Grades   K – 8  |  Professional Library  |  Journal

Inquiry at the Window: The Year of the Birds

This science inquiry in a fourth-grade classroom affirms the importance of observation, questioning, reading, and writing to the inquiry process.