Home Teacher Resources Teacher Resources Teacher Resources Extreme Fear:
Focus on Phobias

Image source: flickr

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  • Invitation to inquiry
  • Open minds
  • Stimulate curiosity
Click ot tap the Open icon for help with this inquiry step.
Fear or phobia?
  • It's a warm summer day and you are outside in your yard. You see a garden snake slither across the sidewalk - do you scream and run inside?
  • It's your turn to present your research project in front of the class - are your palms sweaty and do you feel frozen to your seat?
  • At the doctor's office, it's time to get a flu shot. You instantly make up excuses to leave the room.

Are these fearful feelings normal, or might you have a phobia? Merriam Webster's dictionary defines a phobia as "an unreasonable, abnormal, and lasting fear of something." Many people have an extreme fear of something which could be considered a phobia.

Consider the common phobias pictured in the NBC Learn Slideshow linked below.
Are you afraid of any of these things?

Click on the Immerse tab above to continue your inquiry.


This BCPS Online Research Model is based on Guided Inquiry Design; GID resources have been used with permission of the authors: Kuhlthau, C.C., Maniotes, L.K.,  & Caspari, A.K. (2012).  Guided inquiry design: A framework for inquiry in your school. Santa Barbara, CA:  Libraries Unlimited.

Immerse Immerse

  • Build background knowledge
  • Connect to content
  • Discover interesting ideas
Click ot tap the Immerse icon
for help with this inquiry step.
As part of the research unit, “Changing our Perspectives Through Research,” you will use credible sources to research a phobia. You will be using the information you gather to develop an informational essay to share information with others.

Before you begin to develop your essay, think about:

  • Which of the phobias interests me the most? Why?
  • How do I effectively research information related to the phobia I selected?
  • How do I determine the most credible and reliable sources to conduct my research?

You and members of your inquiry community will share your research findings and conclusions in order to answer the Inquiry Question:

How can conducting research affect your opinion of a phobia?

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

Use one or more of 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 Explore

  • Explore interesting ideas
  • Look around
  • Dip in
Click ot tap the Explore icon
for help with this inquiry step.

Apply exploratory strategies like browsing, scanning, and skimming as you use these resources to help you select a phobia and focus your research. Look around, "dip in" and explore interesting ideas. Try using the inquiry tools and strategies listed below to guide your exploration.

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 Pair-Share Protocol to clarify your ideas, get feedback, and gain insight.
  • 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.

Identify Identify

  • Pause and ponder
  • Decide direction
  • Identify inquiry questions
Click ot tap the Identify icon
for help with this inquiry step.
How can conducting research affect your opinion of a phobia?

Using the Inquiry Question and the background knowledge you have built so far:

  • Choose one phobia to research:
    • Acrophobia - fear of heights
    • Agoraphobia - fear of open spaces, crowds, public places
    • Aviophobia - fear of flying
    • Disosophobia - a.k.a. "hoarding disorder" - feat of throwing things away
    • Entomophobia or Acaraphobia - fear of insects
    • Germophobia - fear of germs
    • Glossophobia - fear of speaking in public or "stage fright"
    • Hemophobia - fear of blood
    • Hypochondria - fear of disease or illness
    • Neelephobia - fear of injections
    • Another phobia approved by your teacher/librarian
  • Use these focus questions to guide your search for information:
    • How does a person develop the phobia?
    • What are the symptoms of the phobia?
    • What are the treatments of the phobia?
    • What are some famous cases of someone with this phobia?
  • Generate some additional focus questions of your own.
  • Identify and make a note of keywords for searching, scanning, and skimming.

Click on the Gather tab above to continue your inquiry.

gather Gather

  • Gather important information
  • Go broad (search & locate)
  • Go deep (read & reflect)
Click ot tap the Gather icon
for help with this inquiry step.
Use a variety of sources from the Student Resources page to gather information.

Apply effective searching and reading strategies in order to evaluate sources and locate information relevant to your inquiry topic and question.

Use strategies and tools for note-taking, documentation, and reflection to gather and organize information. Consider using these inquiry tools:

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 an online citation generator, as directed by your librarian, to format citations for other sources like Websites and print materials.

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

Create Create

  • Reflect on learning
  • Go beyond facts to make meaning
  • Create to communicate
Click ot tap the Create icon
for help with this inquiry step.
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 Inquiry Question?

Synthesize your research findings by planning, organizing, and writing an informational essay which includes:
·         Introduction paragraph (with hook, topic overview, and main idea statement)
·         At least three body paragraphs (with topic sentences and supporting details)
·         Strong conclusion (with a synthesis of ideas and new learning)

Your teacher might also have you:

  • Record your essay using a digital tool such as Voicethread or Vocaroo.
  • Create a product/presentation to share your new learning with an audience (see details under the Share tab).

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.

share Share

  • Learn from each other
  • Share your learning
  • Tell your story
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for help with this inquiry step.

Imagine having the phobia that you researched. How would your life be affected? How might your relationships with your friends and family be affected?

Share your research findings and insights with your inquiry community and a wider audience by using your informational essay to create a public service announcement (PSA) using one of the following digital tools, or another format approved by your teacher/librarian::

  • Be sure to respect the intellectual property rights of others if you use media found online::
  • Use images and media ethically in compliance with copyright, fair use guidelines, or licensing terms of use. Use copyright-friendly media or create your own.

Click on the Evaluate tab above to complete your inquiry.

evaluate Evaluate

  • Evaluate achievement of learning goals
  • Reflect on content
  • Reflect on process
Click ot tap the Evaluate icon
for help with this inquiry step.
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:

Extend your learning:

  • Learn more about how to overcome fears and phobias:


Open Open skill-builders and tools Boo! Common Phobias Slideshow