M-8 Research and Inquiry-Based Thinking

Students demonstrate critical thinking and higher-level understanding through rigorous questioning, project-based learning and inquiry-based instruction.

What does this look like in our schools and classrooms?

  • Use questioning at different levels of knowledge (recall vs. application)
  • Incorporate elements of research in learning activities
  • Plan lessons that allow for inquiry-based learning vs. direct instruction
  • Allow students to apply their learning and new knowledge through project-based learning
  • Let students learn by experimenting, trying, doing, and questioning versus you telling them
  • Incorporate multiple perspectives and types of text into learning materials and resources
  • Experiment with Makerspace, STEM, Virtual Reality, Coding, and other activities that focus on future careers
  • Teach students how to evaluate sources for bias and validity
  • Bring in or Skype with community speakers, and arrange (virtual) field trips to allow for experiential learning
  • Model thinking with academic conversations such as "I wonder...", scenarios, and think-alouds
  • Teach note-taking strategies and graphic organizing to help students make connections to content
  • Use literacy strategies in all content areas to improve processing of knowledge from texts
  • Collaborate with School Library Media Coordinator to design research-based lessons and activities
  • Use scaffolding reading techniques such as annotation, chunking and graphic organizers to bridge students' understanding of higher level texts and issues
  • Use research features within Google (Google Scholar, Easy Bib, etc.)
  • Implement rigorous questioning and brain puzzling challenges to encourage higher-level thinking
  • Analyze current events, primary sources and texts to investigate essential questions

Exemplar Lessons & Strategies

How Can Technology Support this M-Powerment Strategy?

Google Hangouts
Video web conferencing
  • Collaborate with classrooms in other states or countries
  • Bring community/content experts in for a virtual field trip
Brainstorming and organization tool
  • Have students organize research into concept maps with video, links and images
  • Create learning flow charts with resources for students to explore
Interactive, multimedia pictures
  • Use a graphic organizer as a background image, students tag with resources/questions
  • Curate research and sources for students to explore via choice board

For Future Reading, Exploration, & Learning

Educational Articles

Check out these additional research-based articles and books related to this M-Powerment Strategy. 

 https://sites.google.com/a/mgsd.k12.nc.us/mgsd-big-refresh/system/app/pages/search?scope=search-site&q=M-1Self-Paced PD

To explore more about this strategy, check out some of the sessions that have been offered at previous Summer Institutes related to this strategy. Each one contains lots of strategies you can implement and resources you can use to improve your practice.

Instructional Coach-Created Resources

Newsletters and contests created by our Instructional Coaches and School Library Media Coordinators have lots of resources and ideas you can implement. Here are a few that relate to this strategy.