Inquiry-Based Learning Question 2

Hello!  Thank you to all of you that responded to my last Inquiry-Based Learning Question.  You all did a great job!  If you go back to your google doc or emails, you can view my feedback and respond to any questions I may have posed to you. Remember if you answer any questions or made corrections you would like me to view, you need to share it again with me and place in the note that you are responding to the first question.

If you did not get a chance to respond to the first one.  Please scroll down and read the description of Inquiry-Based Learning first before you respond to question #2.

Now for the next question(s) which will be due on August 20th at 8am.  On August 20th I will post the 3rd question that will be due August 27th.

Question(s) #2-    If you are not aware, scientists have just recently found that the planet Mars has a liquid filled lake hiding beneath thick layers of ice.  Due to this extraordinary event, the inquiry-based question will be focused on the planet Mars and the possibility of life forms on Mars.

For this question I would like you to write it in paragraph format so I can see your sentence structure and paragraph formating skills.  You may need to write several paragraphs to answer the questions completely.  Remember that first impressions mean everything!  Be sure to proofread your work and remember capitalization and punctuation and do not start with pronouns in the very first sentence of each paragraph.  I will also encourage you to be sure to create WOW openings and closings for each paragraph.  Please do not close with… This is the answer to the questions Mrs. Chambers gave us.  That is not a strong closing!

Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?  

Have you heard of these questions?  We will use these 6 questions to inquire about the lake found on Mars.  I will list the questions relating to our topic that you will need to research.  I am listing the questions to help you organize your research but please remember that you need to answer all 6 questions in paragraph format without adding the who?, what?, etc.  You also do not need to write your paragraph and sentences in the order of the posed questions.  For example, starting with the answer to the who? part might not seem right or fit into your introduction.

Remember all the questions below relate to the recent findings of water on Mars.  They are just a few to get you started, you may have your own questions to answer.

Who found this liquid lake on Mars?

What does this mean for Mars and our study of planets? What will scientists do with this new found knowledge? What if there are life forms living on Mars? Will finding life forms on Mars affect us here on Earth?

When was this liquid found?  When will we find out more about the lake and possible life forms on Mars?   

Where was the lake on Mars found?

How can this finding affect us and help us on Earth?

Why is this finding so important?  Why are we just finding the lake now?

**Notice there are many questions.  Once you research the answers, you should be able to create a strong paragraph or multiple paragraphs to explain your answers.

I look forward to reading your responses.  Remember to google share with me and I will be sure to add comments and feedback.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Happy August! I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I cannot believe there is one month left before we return to school.  I must admit that I have already begun planning for the school year and look forward to working with you all this year.  I hope you have been reading this summer and working on your summer slide packet.  As a reminder, if you are traveling or super busy this summer and do not get the opportunity to work on the summer slide packet, you have until September 28, 2018 to complete it while still earning the extra credit.  Now for the Inquiry-based learning questions…

So… What is Inquiry-based Learning?  Have you done it before?  What is its purpose?  How will this help me with my academic career?  Sounds like some essential questions, right?  They actually are but like most essential questions, once you break them down they are really not as difficult as they may seem at first.  So let’s break them down and get started with our first challenge.

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?  Breaking down the question we can see that learning is familiar to us all and we know what that is.  Inquiry has to do with questioning and wondering and “based” added to it simply means having to do with.  So we have learning that has to do with questioning.  So simple right?!  A question is posed whether given to you or you have come up with it yourself because you inquired about something you thought of in your daily life.  It can be as simple as you are at a BBQ and you try a hot dog.  You start thinking to yourself what an interesting food.  Who invented this?  How did they come up with the process?  Why in the world did they call it a hot dog??? Have these types of thoughts come into your mind before about anything?  I think like this all the time.  Certain things might spark my interest and I begin to think deeper about it so I can gain a better understanding. That brings us to the next question.

Have you done Inquiry-Based Learning before?    YES!!!  Look at the highlight sentence above.  Don’t we do this all the time in school?  I know that much of our curriculum is what educators have deemed important for you to learn and master by the end of that grade level but often times you are given the opportunity to think deeper so you can gain a better understanding to certain things that might spark your interest. 

What is the purpose of Inquiry-Based Learning?  The purpose is to create an opportunity for active learning where you are in control of your learning and need to use skills that you have learned to solve a question or problem.  I could simply lecture you or create a power point on the hot dog and explain it all to you but you would then lose so much.  First of all, if it was your thought/wonder/question wouldn’t you want to find out the answer or at least try?

How will Inquiry-Based learning help with my academic career?  With Inquiry-based learning you apply your knowledge of problem solving skills which is an important life skill.  You utilize research and reasoning skills while you are focusing on finding the answer to the inquiry you began with.  You are many times given the choice on what topic you want to inquire about which allows you to be completely invested and interested in following through with the challenge and finding the answer!  You can also teach or share with others what you have found out through the process which is something you will need to do all throughout life.  The presentation piece of your inquiry is also important because the way you present your findings will show if you truly applied the skills needed to successfully answer the question and if you fully understood the process and purpose.

You all have done this before!!  Your teachers, parents, coaches might not have used the words inquiry-based learning but trust me you have done this. Now is your opportunity to show me how well you can read my explanation, work on the inquiry-based questions and present your findings in a way that tells me you clearly understood the process and can problem solve to find solutions.  All of these skills you will utilize this year in class so this is a perfect time to practice.

Below is the first posed question.  You will read the question, research and problem solve through it to find an answer.  You will then reply back to me your findings in a short written explanation.  I know it is summer but remember that I expect quality writing as you are all above a 5th grade level.  That means you are writing in complete sentences while remembering punctuation and capitalization.  Try not to start more than one sentence with pronouns and capitalize I!! (Two pet peeves of mine) If you don’t know what a pet peeve is then inquire!! Look it up and research and gain the knowledge of something new today!  Sounds like Inquiry-Based Learning!!!

The first question will stay posted until August 13th and then I will post the 2nd question.  At that point I will not accept additional responses to the first question.  So you have about 1 week to respond to me for each question.  On August 28th, I will post the final question and this will be due on September 10thThe last question will be the only requirement that must be met but I encourage you all to do all of the questions.  I look forward to seeing your responses and interacting with you virtually.  To respond to the question, you will need to email me or a share with me a google doc.  To use the google doc method you will need to remember your login to your drive, create a new doc, type your response to me and share the google doc with me using my email address below.  Many of you will need to ask your parents if you can use their email to respond to me.  I will respond back to you within the one-week period and I will give you feedback and may ask you questions in return.  The email and google doc is the best way to secure your research findings and allow you to get individualized attention.


Start the Inquiry…

I absolutely love English-Language Arts! It was always my favorite subject since I enjoy reading so much.  I feel like reading transports me into another world filled with adventure and excitement. This summer I have already read 8 books and I have recently started reading the Harry Potter Series. I know it has been out there for some time but I wanted to read each book and then watch the movie right after.  I love to compare and contrast the book and movie version identifying the similarities and differences and seeing how they put the words from a page into so many moving parts to create a film.  I had read a few Harry Potter books about twenty years ago when they first came out but decided to reread them.  I really appreciate the extraordinary way the writer (J.K Rowling) draws the reader into the plots of her stories making us want to read more.  This leads us to the first question.   

Question 1-

What makes one writer more powerful or successful than the other?  What characteristics in their writing creates a powerful and successful writing piece?

* Notice that one question creates a domino effect where more follow so easily.  This is common and encouraged with inquiry-based learning. Remember to research to gain more knowledge, then apply what you learned into your answer. 

Question 1 is due by August 13 at 8am.  I will then post the next question.