for the Journey North Teacher
Questions: The Heart of Inquiry
Student QuestionsStudents' questions
flourish when they make firsthand or video clip observations, read
about scientists' research, review data, or complete KWL charts. (You
might inspire younger students by asking them to write down questions
they wish they could ask the animals they're tracking!) Armed with
a host of questions about a particular topic or phenomena, the class
or small groups should consider how they could go about finding answers
to each one. Begin by reviewing the list and marking the questions
as follows: (Select from or adapt this list for your grade level.)
a star (*) next to questions they can answer through firsthand
observations (e.g., What do robins eat?).
a D next to questions they can answer by looking at measurable
data (Do male eagles travel faster than female eagles?).
a plus (+) next to those they can answer by conducting an experiment
(Will tulips in compost come up earlier than tulips in regular
a R next to those can answer by reading information
from books or articles (How many times do a hummingbird's wings
beat per minute?).
an S next to those they think Journey North scientists
could best answer (How do whooping cranes decide who leads the
an X next to questions that are speculative (Why
don't more people care about protecting habitat for migrating birds?).
These can't be readily answered by any of the above, but students
might suggest alternative means such as conducting surveys or setting
up a role-play exercise.
students with an interest in similar questions. Challenge each group
to come up with a proposal describing how they would go about answering
questions and present their plans to peers for review. If time allows,
have groups carry out the research.
Questions: The Heart of Inquiry Links