Examples of Inquiry Lessons for Low to High Student Empowerment

Instructional procedure

  1. Teacher announces topic as chemistry.
  2. Asks students, "What elements make water?"
  3. Teacher fills hydrolysis apparatus with water and connects to electricity source.
  4. Has students observe while the two vials collect gases.
  5. Asks the students how the volumes of gases compare. Tells that if a gas burns brightly it is O and if it woofs it is H. Conducts a test on each vial.
  6. Concludes one is H and the other is O. Asks students how the volume ratio compares to the formula HsO. Twice as much H than O. Draws a model on the board and asks how what they learned might be applied to other molecules. (hydrogen peroxide H2O2…

1. Teacher announces topic: chemistry.

2. Asks students, "How would you organize rocks?"

3. Teacher passes out various rocks, magnifying glasses, and data sheets.

4. Tells students to observe the properties of the rocks, record them on the data sheets, and classify them.

5. Teacher records properties of each group on a class data sheet, labels the group of rocks as sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous, or conglomerate, and asks students if they are satisfied with the arrangement.

6. Asks students to discuss iff the classification system would work for all rocks in the world and what might cause differences.

1. Teacher announces topic: chemistry.

2. Asks students, "What do you predict will happen if water and oil are combined?"

3. Teacher supplies water, oil, cup, dropper, and large manila envelope.

4. Teacher gives instruction on the experiment (omitted here). Tells students they are to write their findings and put them into the envelope.

5. Teacher calls on each group to share the contents of their envelope. After all have shared, ask how the results could be organized and then summarized.

6. Asks pairs to describe what would happen if they mixed alcohol, water, and oil. Share conclusions with the class and discuss possible conclusions.

1. Teacher announces topic: erosion.

2. Teacher asks students, "What causes erosion?"

3. Supplies trays, sand, water, straws, ice cubes, goggles.

4. Students decide on a procedure to collect data on erosion. Spread sand in the same pattern on three trays, Set ice on one, blow air on another, and pour water on the third. Draw before, during, and after diagrams to show the effects.

5. Students share diagrams and discuss change models.

6. Students conclude what would happen if the erosion variable was stronger, the time was longer, and other variable changes. Then describe real works events to match their discoveries.

1. Teacher announces topic observation, and inference.

2. Teacher bolds up a sealed sack with an object in it and her name written on it and asks, "How can we guess what is in the sack?" Students shake it, listen to it, smell it… Teacher writes their observations, on the board with their inferences and reasons for each (inference spoon- observation - sounds like metal, shakes as something solid)

3. Students secretly create their bags.

4. Students exchange bags and write their guesses, inferences and observations.

5. Students share their guesses, observations, inferences, and reasoning.

6. Students suggest how observations, inferences, and reasoning to learn about the world.

1. Today we are going to classify the liquids you brought by their pH to try and answer the questions you asked yesterday.

2. "What do pH levels mean?"

3. Students take the liquids (shampoos, conditioners, juices, vinegar, and ammonia…) teachers supplies pH strips and pH # color charts.

4. Students decide to test all their liquids and record the liquid and its pH.

5. Students look at the results and arrange them in categories by pH.

6. Conclude a relationship of pH levels to the type of liquids and the function of that liquid.

1. A student presents a riddle to the class. How can a person walk across a lake and not get wet? (it's frozen) Students ask: "What makes solids and liquids?"

2. Students suggest a KWHL chart and an investigation. Teacher suggests that they add gases.

3. Students decide to bring liquids, solids, and gases.

4. Students observe their objects, lit properties, and draw pictures.

5. Students display the data sheets on a wall and categorize them. They make a summary list of properties for each category. The teacher guides them to how shape changes or doesn't change (operational definition) of solids, liquids, and gases.

6. Students suggest other objects, classify them and tell how their findings are like a law.

Investigation Steps
in a
lesson
Person Empowered
Topic is chosen by

Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

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Teacher

Teacher

Student

Question to answer is asked by

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Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

Student

Student

Materials are selected by

Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

Student

Student

Student

Investigation procedures are created by

Teacher

Teacher

Teacher

Student

Student

Student

Student

Results are analyzed by

Teacher

Teacher

Student

Student

Student

Student

Student

Conclusions are made by

Teacher

Student

Student

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Student

Student

Student

Kind of instruction

Learning Cycle could fit in any column

Lecture

Demonstration

Reading text

Directed instruction

Guided Discovery

Discussion

Guided Discovery

Discussion

Guided Discovery

Discussion

Inquiry teacher selected topic, question
student selected materials...

Discussion

Inquiry
teacher selected topic
student selected question...

Discussion

Inquiry
student selected topic ...

Discussion

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©