About Julie Coiro

New Literacies, Reading Comprehension and Higher Level Thinking
Across the Middle School Curriculum

Facilitated by members of the
New Literacies Research Team from the University of Connecticut

Julie Coiro, Donald J. Leu, and Jill Castek

Home  |  Internet WorkshopInternet InquiryInternet Project & Webquests  |   Other Tips

Internet Inquiry

Once your students have become familiar with locating Internet resources, Internet inquiry may be a useful means to develop independent research skills and allow students to pursue a question which holds a special interest for them.  Internet Inquiry may be developed by small groups or by individuals.  Inquiry units usually  begin with students identifying a topic and a question that they find important. For more information, you may view an Internet Inquiry video by Donald Leu from the University of Connecticut

Internet Inquiry consists of five phases:
  1. Develop a question.
  2. Search for information.
  3. Evaluate the information.
  4. Compose an answer to your question.
  5. Share the answer with others.
One of the most difficult components of this model is the first step: developing a question.  This is a new way of involving students in their own learning.  Thus, it will take time for students to feel confident in asking their own questions and for teachers to feel confident that there is more than one way to answer a question.  Some sites to visit that may provide ideas in this area include:
Internet Inquiry Examples

Younger students are being introduced to the inquiry process as early as first grade.  Units of learning are organized around central questions, teacher questions, student questions and family questions.  An example of a slightly structured inquiry lesson for 4th graders integrating the Internet is titled Road Trip Through Washington. This inquiry project asks students to consider how geography and resources affect the choices people make in Washington State?

Examples of Inquiry Projects developed for older students include...
Try It Out

The following sites were collected as examples of open-ended tools and topics within various content areas. Explore at least one of the websites below and construct a guiding thematic inquiry question that might serve to inspire students to develop their own personal inquiry investigation around a curriculum theme.
Click to choose the content links that correspond to the morning or afternoon session.

Language Arts

Social Studies

American Revolution:
Ancient Africa:

Cartoons & Animation:

Guidance Counselor Webpage Elements
Other Ideas

TAP (Tech Ed, Consumer Ed, Graphics)

Physical Education

Awesome List of Physical Education and Health Links to explore from Iowa



Number Sense and Analyzing Data


Geologic Time and Fossils:
Periodic Table

Scientific Inquiry Process:
Special Education and Special Services

Library Media

Student Inquiry Sites

Teacher's Resources

Home  |  Internet WorkshopInternet InquiryInternet Project & Webquests  |   Other Tips

Designed by Julie Coiro, January, 2005