Teaching through Inquiry

To Answer A Question:

I was recently asked how I teach inter-disciplinary. The philosophy of the International Baccalaureate aligns well with my own teaching philosophy. In the words of the wise Mr Bejamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn.”
And so I do my best to juggle the expectations of Denver Public Schools’ curriculum, mandatory district and state testing, with the principles behind the IB. Learning through inquiry cannot, by its own nature, be compartmentalised into boxes of single subjects.


Provoking inquiry is the single biggest thing I do as an IB teacher. I lead the children into the concepts I want covered and encourage an awareness in their own metacognitive thinking, thus inspiring questions. From there, they use their trans-disciplinary skills to answer their own questions.

Answering an inquiry about the Scottish flag during reading.

The Complete Unit Study on Rain forests is a great example of how teaching through inquiry can be cross curricular. This packet covers science, math and literacy together with arts and crafts. You can find this packet in either of my stores, Teachers Pay Teachers or Teachers Notebook. Basically, it has your planning done for you, in all curricular areas, for 4-6 weeks.

Creating Life-long Learners

Allowing the children different ways to show their learning develops a sense of ownership for their knowledge.

Through engaging, teacher led activities, children’s natural curiosity is peeked and the questions flow forth. Our “inquiry bank ” is where we log our questions as they arise. This “bank” is basically a large poster where the children freely add their own inquiries. Throughout the week, the children are given opportunities to find their answers either independently or collaboratively. It works well to keep the notion that learning is a constant and never ending, exciting adventure!

Please, feel free to add your own comments or advice to this thread. I love learning from other teachers!

~ Susan

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