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Student Resources Student Resources


  • Invitation to inquiry
  • Open minds
  • Stimulate curiosity

Every year, your family takes a vacation to Ocean City. One of your favorite things to do is to eat your lunch on the beach. You love to watch the waves crash along the beach, hear the seagulls squawk above you and once you're done, you join some family members in building a sandcastle. But wait! You forgot to pick up your trash from your lunch! But it won't matter...will it?

What if each visitor to the beach left one piece of garbage on the sand? How polluted would our oceans become?

Our planet Earth is quite extraodinary - but humans are taking advantage of our Earth. Every day, we pollute our air, water and land. It's time to make changes and start protecting our Earth!

Click on the Immerse tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Build background knowledge
  • Connect to content
  • Discover interesting ideas
When you learn something about a topic that you are interested in, don't you want to share? This is your opportunity!

After conducting some research about pollution, you and members of your inquiry community will share your research findings and conclusions in order to answer the Essential Question:

How can I encourage others to take
better care of our Earth?

Click on the Evaluate tab above to preview the assessments that you and your teacher may use to evaluate your research process and product.

Now, use one or more ot the resources below to build background knowledge, connect to the content, and discover interesting ideas.

Begin your Inquiry Journal by responding to these Inquiry Journal Prompts.

Click on the Explore tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Explore interesting ideas
  • Look around
  • Dip in

Apply exploratory strategies like browsing, scanning, and skimming as you use these resources to help you focus your research. Look around, "dip in" and explore interesting ideas in order to select one of these specific topics for your research:

Topics to choose from: Air Pollution | Land Pollution | Water Pollution | Light Pollution

Explore Resources:

Try using the inquiry tools and strategies listed below to guide your exploration:

  • Use the Stop and Jot strategy to record ideas and questions in your Inquiry Journal.
  • Use the Inquiry Log to keep track of sources that might be useful for further inquiry.
Click on the Identify tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Pause and ponder
  • Decide direction
  • Identify inquiry questions
How can I encourage others to take
better care of our Earth?

Based on your Exploration, select one of these topics for in-depth research; your teacher or librarian will approve your selection:

Air Pollution | Land Pollution | Water Pollution | Light Pollution

Using the Essential Question and the knowledge you have built so far, generate some focus questions to guide your search for information. Try these questioning strategies and tools:

Identify and make a note of keywords for searching, scanning, and skimming.

Use the Pair-Share Protocol to clarify your ideas, get feedback, and gain insight on your potential research question.

Click on the Gather tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Gather important information
  • Go broad (search & locate)
  • Go deep (read & reflect)
Apply effective searching and reading strategies in order to locate and evaluate information relevant to your information need.

Use strategies and tools for note-taking, documentation, and reflection to gather and organize information, as directed by your teacher/librarian.

  • Note taking organizer

  • Use your Inquiry Log (that you began in the Explore phase) to make choices and track your inquiry journey.

  • Use the Gather Inquiry Journal: Go Deep to help you write about important ideas you find and reflect on what you have learned so far.

Demonstrate digital citizenship and avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing, quoting, and citing your sources.

  • Most BCPS-licensed database content includes a pre-formatted citation which you can simply copy and paste onto your Works Cited list.

  • Use Easy Bib to create citations for other sources. Refer to EasyBib Citation Guides as needed.

Now, use a variety of sources on the Student Resources page to gather information.

When you think you have gathered enough important information to accomplish your research task, click on the Create tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts to make meaning
  • Create to communicate
Analyze your research notes to reflect on your learning.
  • Do you have enough information to to meet the demands of your research task?
  • What new insights have emerged in response to the Essential Question?

Synthesize your findings by creating a product/presentation to communicate new meaning and understanding. Be sure to respect the intellectual property of others:

  • Use images and media ethically in compliance with copyright, fair use guidelines, or licensing terms of use. Use copyright-friendly media if possible.

Now that you have learned how devasting the various types of pollution can be, you need to educate others in your community. To do this, you will create a Public Service Annoucement or PSA to share this information. You can choose from these formats, or another format approved by your teacher or librarian:

  • An audio PSA - record using computer microphone and Audacity
  • A brochure
  • A poster
  • A video PSA - record using a Flipcam or built-in webcam on computer

After deciding how you want to present your information, use one of these organizers to help you get started:

Online Organizer Printable Organizer
Audio Audio
Brochure Brochure
Poster Poster
Video Video

Look over the rubric before you begin so you know what is expected of you.

Click on the Evaluate tab to review the assessment criteria for your product/presentation.

Then click on the Share tab above to continue your inquiry.


  • Learn from each other
  • Share your learning
  • Tell your story

Share your research findings and insights with your inquiry community and a wider audience, as directed by your teacher or librarian.

  • Arrange to have your Audio PSA recording played on the morning announcements.
  • Print out your brochure and share copies with members of your school community.
  • Display your poster in the lobby, library, cafeteria or another public space in your school.
  • If your school has a TV Studio, arrange to have your Video PSA broadcast on the morning show.

Click on the Evaluate tab above to complete your inquiry.


  • Evaluate achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
The tools listed below may be used or adapted by you and your teacher to evaluate your research process, product and presentation.

Use these tools throughout your inquiry process to plan, make decisions, monitor progress, and reflect on your learning..

Research Process Evaluation & Reflection:

Research Product/Presentation Assessments:

Your grade will be based on this presentation rubric. Before you turn in your project make sure you have met all the criteria.

Extend your learning:

Now that you have successfully researched an environmental problem, you could create an action plan. Use this template to create an action plan.


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