Inquiry Lesson Plan


  1. Work independently and with teacher support to identify Big Questions and Mini Questions around a central topic.
  2. Choose resources for research.
  3. Create jot notes.
  4. Choose a final presentation form.
  5. Learn from others.


Several class periods


  1. Photocopies of the Inquiry Project Planner
  2. Pencils/pens
  3. Reference/research materials


  • Hand out the Inquiry Project Planner.
  • Have students determine a Main Topic from their notes from the KWL activity.
  • Have students pick their five most important Wonderings on that topic.
  • Have students develop one Big Question that encompasses all or most of their Wonderings. This may require modelling and completing as a class and/or teacher support in conferences as students begin research on their Wonderings.
  • The Mini Questions may develop and change as the students research their Big Question. These Mini Questions should be the five main categories within the Big Question that will be explored.
  • Research options should be explored.
    • See our Educational Resources list.
    • Look for pamphlets, books, titles of books, websites to further explore the topic.
    • Contact your school librarian to access resources.
    • Access resources from the public library.
    • Information can be accessed on web sites so scheduled computer access times will be necessary.
  • Students conduct research and make jot notes.  Space has been provided in the Inquiry Project Planner for notes.
    • While students are researching consider moving from student to student supporting their research and/or have daily conferences with students by request.
    • Have students hand in their jot notes at various points in the research and complete a self-evaluation and provide a teacher evaluation to ensure all students are on track. See Inquiry Project Planner Rubric.
  • Students create a Final Project.
    • Once Jot Notes are finished, offer students various options for output “showing what they know”. Possibilities include: Essay, PowerPoint, newspaper, collage, pamphlet, interview, talk show, poster, scrapbook, video.
    • Project Presentation: Have students present their Inquiry Project to the class or in a celebration with parents and other staff and students; allowing students to not only learn from their own project but also from their classmates projects.
    • Evaluation should be completed on both the Project Planner (including jot notes) and Final Project. See Final Project Rubric.