But before we started this time, I introduced a framework to help guide this part of the inquiry. I had just finished reading Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, and I found that they had a very straightforward and clearly laid out method of teaching students to ask questions.
Check out the book here: http://rightquestion.org/make-just-one-change/
Below are the guidelines that I adapted from the book:
Once again we sorted the questions into GOOGLE, SEARCH AND FIND, and WICKED WONDERS - (please see our Questions Questions section for more information on how we decided to sort our questions this year).
Since this was a mini inquiry, I also asked the students to pick the question that they wanted an answer to the MOST from the Wicked Wonder section.
We chose a number of Wicked Wonders, and then voted as a class for this one hands down:
WHY DO PEOPLE START WARS?
A great inquiry question - many different opinions and feelings can come into play, and there is no one specific answer. I decided to have students GATHER AND ORGANIZE information for this question through discussion - we tied in what we had learned from our Government and Citizenship unit about democracy and dictatorship, one student brought up greed and money, another wanted to talk about WWII and how sometimes you have to fight to protect people in trouble, and since I have many students with relatives in Syria, the situation overseas was brought in as well. I wrote all their ideas on a piece of chart paper to organize our thinking.
The next day we revisited our discussion. Because this was a mini-inquiry, the last step we did was EVALUATION and DRAWING CONCLUSIONS - I asked them to write a reflection piece based on what they had learned, and to talk about how their THINKING HAD CHANGED from when we started talking about why people start wars up to now. Our first steps towards tying in Synthesis and Metacognition to the Inquiry Process!
At first I thought...
Now I am thinking...
One new question I have is...