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Phase I


  1. Teachers introduce theme/overarching concepts

  2. Teachers engage students in a variety of activities
    • motivate/hook kids
    • elicit prior knowledge
    • build up knowledge

  3. Teachers model information-gathering strategies:
    • Read
    • Watch
    • Ask
    • Do

  4. Students become familiar with the I-Search process

  5. Students pose I-Search questions that are personally relevant and meaningful

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Sample Activities

*In their study of disasters, students used a web to begin formulating questions.

*Students send follow-up letters to a guest speaker to help them process information, generate new questions, and thank the speaker.

*Students go on various field trips.
View a teacher talking about the value of
field trips. (2.6 MB)
Read transcriptMovie Info
* Computer Simulation Activity from the Teacher's Guide to Developing an I-Search Unit, a component of the Make It Happen! manual

Computer simulation activities allow students to participate in a life-like situation, make decisions, and see the impact of their decisions. Simulations present abstract concepts in concrete terms. Through participating in simulations, students enhance their understanding of concepts, begin to pose more meaningful questions, and express their ideas to classmates. The focused and spontaneous conversation that occurs during a simulation can support students who are highly verbal but who might have difficulties in other areas, such as writing.

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