Investigate and Gather - Scientific Breakthroughs

2 women standing by early computers


  • Lesson:

    This assumes that students have some preliminary work with thin & thick questions.  

    Part 1

    • Students share key words they came across for each topic during the Explore phase. Record these next to the topic word on the anchor chart. 
    • Review “thin” and “thick” questions; write typical question stems next to visuals. Have students ask “thin” questions aloud about their topic. 
    • Today’s focus is asking a “thick” question about the topic and researching the answers.
      • Students copy the three question stems from the anchor chart/whiteboard for “thick” questions onto the handout. In groups, students share their questions from the “I Wonder” bubble on their sheet and create 3 thick questions about their topic using the stems provided. 
      • Teacher & Librarian rotate among groups and help students create researchable “thick” questions. 
      • Record students' thick questions on anchor chart and compare them. 
      • Depending on time available, students copy one or all three questions to their Note-taking handout (page 2 of packet). 
    • Discuss/review the purpose of and use of the Sources Used section of the Note-taking handout. 

    Part 2

    Students will return to the Station for their topic. New materials will have been added to the existing materials.  Students will take notes to answer each question. They may work alone or with a partner. 

Phase: Investigate & Gather
  • This phase is intended to:

    Allow students to develop question/s of personal interest and have time to gather relevant information to answer the question/s.

    Key ideas:

    • Encourage authentic questions (connected to real life, real world problems)
    • Assist students in refining/revising questions (6th-12th)
    • Encourage use of primary and secondary sources
    • Note taking 
    • Cite sources