Information Inquiry Role:

According to Daniel Callison the five interactive components of information inquiry are questioning, exploring, assimilation, inference and reflection. With this comes ways to teach information literacy skills that are required of students in the 21st century. There are many ways this can occur depending on the lesson, grade level, and the comfort level of the collaborating teacher. In this lesson, it presents a guided level of inquiry. Here the students are expected to create a suggested final product but still allows the students flexibility in how to go about it.

The lesson begins with the students thinking about what experience or prior knowledge they have of the Solar System. Then they are asked to come up with questions on what they would like to learn. And according to David Loertscher and Blanche Woolls, “encouraging students to form their own questions has a positive impact on learning.” (Callison, 2006, p. 32) From here students are led through the inquiry process by using a pathfinder and webquest created specifically for the project. The pathfinder demonstrates to the students how to trace information on a given subject. It shows a visual connection between different types of resources available on a subject, in this case the solar system. The webquest is an inquiry based tool that provides students with specific and carefully selected resources and tools to be used in their quest. It is a great way that a media specialist can collaborate across curriculum areas with teachers to incorporate content area, technology, and information skills that can later be used as life skills into adulthood.

In this project students are asked to select a planet that they would like to learn more about. From here the students are required to create and develop a Wikipedia page that is interesting and factual. They are given certain facts that must be included in their discovery process but not limited to those facts. After this has been completed the students are then asked to go further with the information they have obtained. The last mission of the student’s is to make an advertisement for a planet. Take the information they have learned and now try to persuade travelers to visit this unique and wonderful planet they learned about. This demonstrates the scaffolding of knowledge. Students have all of these facts and unique features of the planets, now they must decided how to bring this information together to bring people to the planet. And the reward for doing so will allow the student’s work to be shown on announcements and placed on the schools website.

Throughout the inquiry process the classroom teacher is not the only person to evaluate the students and their learning. The media specialist is working with the classroom teacher in developing skills that the students will use throughout their education. In this instance the media special teaches the students the proper way to cite their sources, grades the citation practice worksheet, and helps choose the best projects. The teacher is conferencing with the students to ensure they are on task and not lost in the details of the unit. The teacher also acts as a coach, cheerleader, sounding board, and assessor for the students as the travel through the inquiry process.

8th Grade Science Standards (Indiana):


The Physical Setting

8.3 Students collect and organize data to identify relationships between physical objects, events, and processes. They use logical reasoning to question their own ideas as new information challenges their conceptions of the natural world.

8.3.1 Explain that large numbers of chunks of rock orbit the sun and some of this rock interacts with the Earth.

8.3.17 Explain that the sun's gravitational pull holds the Earth and other planets in their orbits, just as the planets' gravitational pull keeps their moons in orbit around them. (Core Standard)

The Nature of Science and Technology
8.1.1 Recognize that and describe how scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. (Core Standard)
8.1.8 Explain that humans help shape the future by generating knowledge, developing new technologies, and communicating ideas to others. (Core Standard)

Scientific Thinking
8.2.4 Use technological devices, such as calculators and computers, to perform calculations.
8.2.5 Use computers to store and retrieve information in topical, alphabetical, numerical, and keyword files and create simple files of students' own devising.

8th Grade Language Arts Standards (Indiana):

WRITING: Process
8.4.1 Discuss ideas for writing, keep a list or notebook of ideas, and use graphic organizers to plan writing.
8.4.2 Create compositions that have a clear message, a coherent thesis (a statement of position on the topic), and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.
8.4.3 Support theses or conclusions with analogies (comparisons), paraphrases, quotations, opinions from experts, and similar devices.
8.4.4 Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches using computer networks.
8.4.5 Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.
8.4.6 Use a computer to create documents by using word-processing skills and publishing programs; develop simple databases and spreadsheets to manage information and prepare reports.
8.4.7 Review, evaluate, and revise writing for meaning and clarity.
8.4.8 Edit and proofread one’s own writing, as well as that of others, using an editing checklist or set of rules, with specific examples of corrections of frequent errors.
8.4.9 Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions among paragraphs, passages, and ideas.


WRITING: Applications
8.5.4 Write persuasive compositions that:
• include a well-defined thesis that makes a clear and knowledgeable appeal.
• present detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support effective arguments and emotional appeals.
• provide details, reasons, and examples, arranging them effectively by anticipating and answering reader concerns and counterarguments.

8.5.7 Write for different purposes and to a specific audience or person, adjusting tone and style as necessary. (Core Standard)

LISTENING AND SPEAKING: Skills, Strategies, and Applications
8.7.13 Deliver persuasive presentations that:
• include a well-defined thesis (position on the topic).
• differentiate fact from opinion and support arguments with detailed evidence, examples, reasoning, and persuasive language.
• anticipate and effectively answer listener concerns and counterarguments through the inclusion and arrangement of details, reasons, examples, and other elements.
• maintain a reasonable tone.
(Core Standard)

Standards For the 21st Century Learner:

Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.

1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.
1.1.9 Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding.
1.2.3 Demonstrate creativity by using multiple resources and formats.

Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
2.1.5 Collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions, and solve problems.
2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.

Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.

3.1.1 Conclude an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning.
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.
3.3.4 Create products that apply to authentic, real-world contexts.

Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres.
4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.
4.2.1 Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources.
4.4.2 Recognize the limits of own personal knowledge.