How to Help All Students with Evidence-based Reading and Writing During an Inquiry Activity, pp. 7 of 7


The instructional process described in this article has six key components: (1) establish a clear inquiry purpose; (2) introduce learning activity; (3) activate prior knowledge; (4) select engaging sources; (5) design learning scaffolds; (6) guide synthesis and writing. My primary goal here has been to highlight how this process might be used for a specific learning activity where the goal is to evaluate claims and evidence to answer an inquiry question. Keeping in mind the need to scaffold key reading comprehension habits, such as connecting to background knowledge, generating and answering questions, and monitoring one’s own comprehension is an essential part of helping ensure that students can be successful in this process.


  1. Beyer, B. (2008). What research tells us about teaching thinking skills. The Social Studies. Sept/Oct 2008, 196-201.
  2. Conley, M. (2008). Content Area Literacy: Learners in Context. Boston: Pearson.
  3. Parker, W. (2012). “Their minds must be improved to a certain degree”: A learning cycles approach to inquiry. HSSE Online: Research and Practice in Humanities and Social Studies Education. 1(1), 1-6.
  4. Pearson, P.D., Roehler, L, Dole, J.A.,  & Duffy, G. (1992). Developing expertise in reading comprehension. In What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction, ed. J. Samuels & A. Farstrup. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
  5. Tovani, C. (2000). I read it, but I don’t get it:
  6. Comprehension strategies for adolescent readers. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
  7. Zwiers, J. (2010).  Building Reading Comprehension Habits in Grades 6-12: A Toolkit of Classroom Activities, 2nd edition. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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