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Cooperative Learning

Many teachers find that the I-Search Unit provides an excellent context for cooperative learning. In fact, some teachers call the unit a We-Search instead of an I-Search Unit. In a We-Search Unit, small groups of students all focus on a similar research question. Each student then poses an individual question that focuses on one facet of the shared question.

Even within an I-Search Unit, there are ways to incorporate cooperative learning. For example:

  • In Phase I, students can work in groups as they watch videos, carry out interviews, go on field trips, or read and discuss articles.

  • In Phase III, students can help each other gather information if they have questions that fall within the same overarching concept. They can also work in cooperative groups to process information that they are gathering.

  • In Phase IV, once they have finished their individual I-Search reports, students can work in cooperative groups to exhibit their learning through skits, artwork, writing, etc.

*Cooperative Learning Activity from the Teacher's Guide to Developing an I-Search Unit, a component of the Make It Happen! manual

* One Teacher's Strategy

* Student perspectives about cooperative learning activities

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