Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Guided Inquiry

Guided Inquiry


During guided inquiry, teachers foster student autonomy by designing lessons centered on meaningful questions in which students locate, analyze, and present relevant information on their own or in small groups. Incorporating teacher modeling and content texts during the inquiry process can help students build Disciplinary Literacy and provide content and models for original Composition.

Use It in the Classroom

Starting at 0:50, watch how this high school teacher uses guided inquiry to promote Critical Literacy skills. By grounding their work in a big question, students must reason and answer the question from a variety of perspectives from the literature they are reading. At the end, students make a presentation about what they learned to younger students, modelling their thinking and learning as well as finding their voice in the process.

  • Teachers play a crucial role in guided inquiry by providing scaffolds and models for students to follow as they navigate texts to illuminate the central question. By putting students in charge of their own learning, teachers foster a sense of ownership in the learning process and increase Motivation. Teachers can also pose further questions during the process to promote critical thinking and stimulate student question generation.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Product developers can enrich online platforms for teachers by creating guided inquiry products within an online social forum. By embedding questions within texts and also allowing students to ask their own questions of each other and the larger community, developers can promote Critical Literacy, Metacognition, and Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy