“Way of the Inquiry Ninja” – Presentation

Welcome “backstage” of the “WAY OF THE INQUIRY NINJA” workshop!  You were a wonderful audience, and it’s a privilege to learn alongside you and share ideas.

Scroll below to see the following…

  1. Session Description & Video Preview
  2. Feedback & Prize Draw Entry Form
  3. Selected Slides
  4. Defining Inquiry (Video)
  5. 100+ Project Ideas (Video)
  6. 10 Examples of Inquiry (Secret Video List)
  7. Peer Coaching & Question Set
  8. Sample Structured Inquiry Unit (w/ Assessment Rubrics)
  9. Inquiry Bibliography

1. Session Description:

How can we help learners to question more deeply and do in-depth inquiry projects with greater independence? How can we as educators learn to become “Inquiry Ninjas” in the classroom through internalizing the practice of facilitation to help empower learners to make their own discoveries? This practical session brings inquiry-based learning to life using the “4 Vehicles” analogy and lots examples, stories, clear frameworks, resources, and project ideas to help you quickly get started facilitating learning on a whole new level.

2. Feedback & Prize Draw Entry Form:

Thank you for sharing your experience in this session using this feedback form. Anyone who offers feedback, of any kind, is entered into our random prize draw to win one of the following:

  • Signed and personalized copy of “Q is for Question: An ABC of Philosophy” ($22 Value)


3. Selected Slides:

These slides are for your use only.  If you wish to share one or two on social media, please credit @TiffanyPoirier  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

4. Defining Inquiry:

5. 100+ Project Ideas:

6. 10 Examples of Inquiry: Secret Video List











7. Peer Coaching & Question Set

Click here to read the article on how to facilitate Peer Coaching.

Download the example of the Peer Coaching “Question Set”.

Productivity Question Set

8. Sample Structured Inquiry Unit

Click here to download a PDF with handouts, rubrics, and other information from an example of a structured inquiry unit: BIOMES INQUIRY HANDOUTS PDF

biome inquiry

9. Inquiry Bibliography

Here’s a collection of books, journal articles, and online publications that have been helpful in my journey learning about inquiry.  Do you have a resource to recommend? Please post in the comments area below–thank you for sharing!

Alberta Learning. (2004). Focus on Inquiry. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Learning and Teaching Resources Branch. Retrieved online https://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

Alvarado, A. E., & Herr, P. (2003). Inquiry-based Learning Using Everyday Objects: Hands-on Instructional Strategies That Promote Active Learning in Grades 3-8 (1st ed.). United States: SAGE Publications

Anderson, P. J., O’Connor, K. A., & Greene, H. (2006). Action research: Questions asked, questions answered. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin72(4), 13-28.

Banchi, H., & Bell, R. (2008). The many levels of inquiry. Science and Children, 46(2), 26-29. Retrieved online: https://engage.intel.com/docs/DOC-30979

Barell, J. (2006). Problem-Based Learning: An Inquiry Approach (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press

Barlow, A. T. & Cates, J. M. (2006/2007). The answer is 20 cookies. What is the question? Teaching Children Mathematics. Retrieved from http://www.westga.edu/documents/pubs/000221_.pdf

Barron, B. & Darling-Hammond, L. (2008). Teaching for meaningful learning: A review of the research on inquiry-based and cooperative learning (Book Excerpt).

Edutopia: The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-teaching-for-meaningful-learning.pdf

Bastock, M. Gladstone, B., & Martin, J. (2006). Inquiry Transforms Learning Environments for Students. ATA Magazine, 87(2). Retrieved from http://www.teachers.ab.ca/Publications/ATA%20Magazine/Volume%2087/Number%202/Articles/Pages/Inquiry%20Transforms%20Learning%20Environments%20for%20Students.aspx

Berger, W. (2014). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Bond, N. (2008). Questioning strategies that minimize behavior problems. Education Digest, 73(6), 41-45.

Branch, J. L., & Solowan, D. (2003). Inquiry-based learning: The key to student success. School Libraries In Canada,22(4), 6.

Brown, S., & Vaughan, C. (2010). Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul. United States: Avery Publishing Group Inc.

Brunsell, E. (2011) The 5 Features of Science Inquiry: What Questions Do You Have? Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-features-science-inquiry

Cecil, N. L., & Pfeifer, J. (2011). The Art of Inquiry: Questioning Strategies for K-6 Classrooms (2nd Edition.). Winnipeg, MB: Portage & Main Press.

Chorzempa, B., & Lapidus, L. (2009). To find yourself, think for yourself. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(3), 54-59.

Colburn, A. (2000). An inquiry primer. Science Scope. Retrieved from http://www.ubclts.com/docs/Inquiry_Primer.pdf

Donohue-Smith, M. (2006). Improving the questions students ask. Education Digest, 72(3), 41-43

Eastwell, P. (2009). Inquiry learning: Elements of confusion and frustration. American Biology Teacher (National Association of Biology Teachers), 71(5), 263-264.

Elbers, E. (2003). Classroom interaction as reflection: Learning and teaching mathematics in a community of inquiry. Educational Studies in Mathematics54(1), 77.

Exploratorium. (n.d.). What is inquiry? Institute for Inquiry. San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/about/philosophy.html

Foster, K. D. (2009). Ask and You Will Succeed: 1001 Extraordinary Questions to Create Life-Changing Results. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Friesen, S. & Scott, D. (2013). Inquiry-based learning: A review of the research literature. Alberta Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://galileo.org/focus-on-inquiry-lit-review.pdf

Galileo Educational Network, (2015). What is inquiry? [Website]. Retrieved January 18, 2015 from http://inquiry.galileo.org

Galileo Educational Network, (1999-2014). What is inquiry? [Website]. Retrieved January 18, 2015 from http://galileo.org/teachers/designing-learning/articles/what-is-inquiry/

Gardner, H. (2008). Five Minds for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Gopnik, A. (2012, July). Let the children play, it’s good for them! Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/let-the-children-play-its-good-for-them-130697324/

Halbert, J., & Kaser, L. (2013). Spirals of Inquiry for Equity and Quality. Vancouver, BC: BCPVPA.

Halvorson, H. G. (2012). Nine ways successful people defeat stress. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2012/12/nine-ways-successful-people-de

Harland, D. J. (n.d.). What is inquiry? Stem Mom. Retrieved from http://www.stemmom.org/2012/04/what-is-inquiry.html

Henderson, T., & Atencio, D. (2007). Integration of play, learning, and experience: What museums afford young visitors. Early Childhood Education Journal35(3), 245-251. doi:10.1007/s10643-007-0208-1

International Baccalaureate Organization. (2005). Program Standards and practices. Cardiff, UK: Author.

Jackson, S. (2013). Good questions for inquiry-based projects. Scholastic Canada Education. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.ca/education/teaching_tip/march2013.html

Kessler, J., & Galvan, P. (2007). Inquiry in Action: Investigating Matter Through Inquiry (3rd Edition.). United States: American Chemical Society.

Klein, S. R. (2010). Exploring hope and the inner life through journaling. Encounter23(2), 49-52.

Larmer, J. (2014). Project-based learning vs. problem-based learning vs. x-bl. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/pbl-vs-pbl-vs-xbl-john-larmer

Larmer, J. & Mergendoller, J. R. (2012). 8 Essentials for project-based learning. Edutopiahttp://bie.org/object/document/8_essentials_for_project_based_learning#

Lathrop, A. H. (2006). Teaching how to question: Participation rubrics. Teaching Professor, 20(3), 4.

Lee, V. (2011). The power of inquiry as a way of learning. Innovative Higher Education, 36(3), 149-160. doi:10.1007/s10755-010-9166-4

Lipowski, E. E. (2008). Developing great research questions. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy65(17), 1667–1670. doi:10.2146/ajhp070276

Llewellyn, D. (2002). Inquire Within: Implementing Inquiry-Based Science Standards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. pg. 12

Llewellyn, D. (2014). Inquire Within: Implementing Inquiry- and Argument-Based Science Standards in Grades 3-8 (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

McAllister, B., & Plourde, L. A. (2008). Enrichment curriculum: Essential for mathematically gifted students. Education, 129(1), 40-49.

McConnell, C. (2011). The Essential Questions Handbook. United States: Scholastic Teaching Resources.

Myron, D. (2014). Grading Smarter, Not Harder: Assessment Strategies That Motivate Kids and Help Them Learn. United States: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.

Mui, M. (2010). Experiencing Clay: Inquiry-based Learning and Assessment for

Learning. International Journal Of Art & Design Education, 29(3), 244-256. doi:10.1111/j.1476-8070.2010.01664.x

National Research Council. (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. p. 23

National Research Council (2000). Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning. Table 2-6. p 29.

Piaget, J. (1951). Play Dreams and Imitation in Childhood. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Pink, D. (2006). A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future. United States: Riverhead Books.

Rapp, W. H. (2005). Inquiry-based environments for the inclusion of students with exceptional learning needs. Remedial & Special Education26(5), 297-310.

Saunders-Stewart, K. S., Gyles, P. T., & Shore, B. M. (2012). Student Outcomes in Inquiry Instruction: A Literature-Derived Inventory. Journal Of Advanced Academics, 23(1), 5-31. doi:10.1177/1932202X11429860

Seppala, E. M. (2013, January 27). 5 reasons you need to play more. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201409/the-power-play/5-reasons-you-need-play-more

Stephenson, N. (n.d.). Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from http://www.teachinquiry.com/index/Introduction.html

Tienken, C. H., Goldberg, S., & DiRocco, D. (2010). Questioning the questions. Education Digest75(9), 28-32.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1966). Play and its role in the mental development of the child.  Soviet Psychology, 12(6), 62-76, Original work published 1933)

Wilson, N., & Smetana, L. (2011). Questioning as thinking: a metacognitive framework to improve comprehension of expository text. Literacy45(2), 84-90. doi:10.1111/j.1741-4369.2011.00584.x

Thomson, D. (2010). Beyond the classroom walls: Teachers’ and students’ perspectives on how online learning can meet the needs of gifted students. Journal of Advanced Academics21(4), 662–712. doi:10.1177/1932202×1002100405

Watt, J. G., & Colyer, J. (2014). IQ: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.

Wells, G. (2001). Action, Talk & Text: Learning & Teaching Through Inquiry. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Wilhelm, J. D. (2007). Engaging Readers & Writers with Inquiry: Promoting Deep

Understandings in Language Arts and the Content Areas with Guiding Questions. United States: Scholastic Teaching Resources.

Wilhelm, J. D. (2012). Essential questions.  Scholastic Instructor122(3), 24-27.

Wilhelm, J. D. (2014). Learning to love the questions. Knowledge Quest42(5), 36-41

Wilhelm, J. D. (2007). Inquiry starts here. Instructor116(7).

Yager, R. (1988). Never playing the game.  Science Teacher, 55(9), 77

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