Skills and Tools Skills and Tools Open: Skills and Tools


Invitation to inquiry
Open minds
Stimulate curiosity

Guided Inquiry Process- Open Immerse Identify Explore Open Gather Create Share Evaluate
Kuhlthau, Carol C., Leslie K. Maniotes, and Ann C. Caspari. 2012.
Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School. Libraries Unlimited.
The first step in our Inquiry-based process is called Open. Since we are just beginning our research, we open with something that grabs our attention and gets us thinking and wondering about the topic or question we'll be investigating. We can start with something as simple as an object, a photograph, or a Web page that introduces us to the topic and sparks our curiosity. We can make connections by thinking about what we already know about this, and about how this relates to our own lives and world. As an inquiry community, we can begin to generate ideas and questions.This helps us to open our minds to lots of possibilities, and gets us excited about engaging in the research process.

    • Select the Skills & Tools button on the left for help with this step.
    • Select a Unit tab below to begin the Open step of your inquiry.
UNIT 1 - Connecting Research

PBA: Legend/Strange Phenomenon Informational Essay
Follow an inquiry-based process to research a legend or strange phenomenon and use credible sources to develop an informational essay.

LESSON 2: What could we be looking at in this photo? Is this real? How could we find out?

Loch Ness Monster
Wilson, Robert. "The Loch Ness Monster." History Magazine (Toronto, Canada) Vol. 6, No. 6. Aug./Sept.
2005: 28-30. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 15 Jul 2013.

LESSON 3: Is this Website a reliable source? How do you know?

Tree Octopus Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus Website

The Web page below is published by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a government agency which is considered a very reliable source of information about public health and safety.

  • Is the CDC really suggesting that we prepare for a zombie apocolypse?
  • What is the CDC's true purpose for publishing this Web page? Why do you think the CDC chose to present information about disaster preparedness in this format?

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocolypse


Lessons 11-15: Argumentative Writing
Follow an inquiry-based process to research a debatable current issue and compose a written argument to support your viewpoint on the issue.

Lesson 11:
Imagine your school deciding that every student should wear uniforms such as these next year.
What are some pros and cons (positive and negative aspects) of wearing school uniforms?

  • Southwest Academy Middle School (BCPS) School Uniforms
  • Osceola, Florida Middle School Uniforms (shown below)

Uniforms Middle School Uniforms

Click on the Immerse step above to continue your inquiry for Unit 1.

UNIT 2 - Making Cultural Connections

PBA: Be a Museum Curator
Follow an inquiry-based process to research a culture and create a museum exhibit with artifacts that fully represent the culture.
  • What aspects of culture do you see in this photograph, taken in a public square of a Chinese city?
  • Based on your analysis, what can you infer about Chinese culture?

aspects of culture

Lessons 16-20: Become a Cultural Storyteller
Research the origin of a cultural item, custom, belief, or practice to compose a fictional piece featuring this cultural element.

The photograph below shows an image of people celebrating the Hindu festival called Holi. Holi marks the beginning of spring, and is usually celebrated at the end of February or early March. During the Holi festival participants often throw brightly colored powder and scented water at each other. Holi is also referred to as "The Festival of Colors".

  • What aspects of culture do you see in this photograph?
  • Based on your analysis, what can you infer about Hindu culture?
  • What cultural item, custom, belief, or practice from this photograph could be featured in a fictional narrative?

Holi Festival

Image Credits: Poras Chaudhary, MyShot, at National Geographic

Click on the Immerse step above to continue your inquiry for Unit 2.

UNIT 3 - Making Scientific Connections

Lessons 15-18: Development of an Invention
Follow an inquiry-based process to research a scientific invention and create a group documentary explaining how the invention developed over time.
  • Use the two images below to spark a discussion about how technologies like those that were previously considered "science fiction" have become scientific reality.
UFO Amazon drone

light bulb

Click on the Immerse step above to continue your inquiry for Unit 3.
UNIT 4 - Making Artistic Connections

Lesson 12: Multimedia Book Review
Compare and contrast traditional text forms with their graphic counterparts to determine the effectiveness of graphic text in communicating narrative elements. Use your written analysis to create a multimedia book review.
  • Comparing and contrasting traditional and graphic text forms:
Tropics of New York animation

PBA: Graphic Novel Adaptation
Adapt an episode from a previously read narrative text into graphic novel form, and compose a reflection about the choices you made as a writer and artist.
  • How do authors/artists create their graphic novels? Visit one of the resources below to find out!

    • View an interactive interview with Bone creator Jeff Smith:
Interview with Bone creator Jeff Smith
    • Discover Kazu Kibuishi's process for creating his graphic novel, Copper.

      Copper Comic Process Link

    • Learn about the process Raina Telgemeier uses to write and create her graphic novels:
Smile Graphic Novel

Click on the Immerse step above to continue your inquiry for Unit 4.
jQuery Home Concerned about comics Why teach with comics? sparking media literacy