Become a Member

How To Teach The Inquiry Method In Five Easy Steps

inquiry planning ideas

The inquiry method of teaching is a great way to teach your students inquiry skills. Follow these five simple inquiry method steps:

  1. Pose a question
  2. Conduct research
  3. Interpret information
  4. Share learning
  5. Assess inquiry process

What Is Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry based learning is asking questions and finding answers.

Teaching With Inquiry

If kids can ask questions and know how to discover answers, they will be more successful in school.

And later in life.

Inquiry Method Steps

Step 1: Pose Your Question

The first step in the inquiry process is to pose your question. This can be difficult for students. To support this process, I recommend showing students some inquiry question examples.  

"Perfect to help my students understand the inquiry process." - Kristin B. (Insect Inquiry)

Step Two: Conduct Research

The next step in the inquiry process is to conduct research and find the answer to your inquiry question. Students can look in books, in magazines and on the internet for information.

A great online site for kids to use is Wonderopolis. Students can type in their question or topic and see what other students have wondered about. This is also a useful site for students to explore to find possible inquiry questions.

Step Three: Interpret the Information

After gathering all the information, it is time to pick out the important facts that answer the inquiry question. Students can write up their findings. 

"My class absolutely LOVED the animal inquiry projects. They felt like "real researchers." - Brittany M. (Animal Inquiry)

Step Four: Share Information

There are many different ways that students can share the information they find. They can write it up in question and answer form, create a poster, compose a song, or orally present the information to students.

Step Five: Assess Learning

An optional step to the inquiry process is to assess student learning. Students can think about what they did well, what they struggled with, and what they would do differently if they researched and created another inquiry project. 

"You explain the inquiry process very well. I like the self-reflection sheets and rubrics. It is a well thought out packet to support inquiry learning." - Andrea H. (Inquiry For Any Subject Area)

The materials shown in this blogpost are from the Animal Inquiry package that can be found at TeachersPayTeachers.

Want even more information about using inquiry in your classroom? Be sure to check out:

Activities For Inquiry Based Learning

You can easily begin teaching inquiry to your students today. Simply brainstorm a list of inquiry questions and have students start researching to find the answers. Have students that need extra support? Use differentiation to help them be successful.

"My students are using this resource as an enrichment activity on Fridays. They love being able to choose a topic to learn more about, researching that topic, and sharing their knowledge with their classmates. Thank you for creating a resource that simplifies the inquiry process so that even my struggling learners can be successful." - Melissa G. (Inquiry For Any Subject Area)

Want to save time?

Ready-to-use activities for inquiry based learning are available on TeachersPayTeachers

Each inquiry project includes:

  • 9 Sample Inquiry Questions and Blank Templates
  • Research Templates (with primary and regular lines)
  • Class Book Templates (with primary and regular lines)
  • Inquiry Is ... and I Wonder ... Posters
  • Step-By-Step Posters On How To Complete An Inquiry Project
  • Presentation Ideas Poster
  • Self, Peer, and Teacher Assessments (with happy faces and 4 point scale)
  • 2 Rubrics

The following topics have no prep, easy-to-use activities for inquiry based learning:

Interested in a number of inquiry projects? All the above projects are a part of the Inquiry Based Learning Projects BUNDLE.

Happy writing!

Until next time,

P.S. Do you struggle teaching writing to your kids? Are you looking for writing tips, strategies and ideas?

Not sure if any of these are for you? Check out the Touch of Honey Freebie Library. Download a freebie and begin using in your classroom today.