George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resources and Downloads to Facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning

Find information, strategies, protocols, and tools to promote curiosity and engage students in asking questions, thinking critically, and solving problems.
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Discover the Benefits of Inquiry-Based Learning

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Create Learning Environments That Foster Inquiry

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Plan Curriculum That Supports Inquiry

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Use Strategies to Increase Inquiry in the Classroom

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Conduct Activities That Promote Inquiry

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Downloads and Examples From Schools That Work

Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find downloads used by practitioners at featured schools, and dive into real-world examples of inquiry-based learning.

Inquiry-Based Learning: Developing Student-Driven Questions

At Wildwood IB World Magnet School, teachers use student questions to drive lessons, and channel student curiosity into student-centered projects. Check out a few of Wildwood's inquiry-based teacher tools:

  • Curriculum Map for Grades K-5 -- Download this chart to understand how Wildwood aligns its lines of inquiry to specific curricular themes, central ideas, and key concepts throughout the year.
  • Personal Project Questions -- Download a worksheet that includes prompts to help students focus and think through the topics of their research.
  • Sample Research Worksheet -- Download a sample "My Personal Project" worksheet to learn how teachers at Wildwood help students organize plans for projects; students record questions, research notes, unfamiliar vocabulary, and how they will demonstrate what they've learned. For another resource of this type, see Wildwood's Personal Project Planner.
  • Personal Project Skills Survey -- Download a project skills survey to discover how Wildwood students reflect on the skills they've tapped and personal work habits they've practiced while working on their projects.

Inquiry-Based Learning: From Teacher-Guided to Student-Driven

See how Ralston Elementary School teachers guide the inquiry process over a series of lessons and teach students how to ask deeper questions to prepare them to lead their own inquiry into specific problems.

"I Wonder" Questions: Harnessing the Power of Inquiry

Learn how educators at Crellin Elementary School use students' "I Wonder" questions to drive lesson planning, differentiate instruction, and foster student curiosity.

Inquiry-Based Learning in the Science Classroom 

Science students at Casey Middle School begin with a central question and seek answers through research, experimentation, and data analysis. Review a sample question and lesson plan to understand how this works in practice.

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David Loertscher's picture
David Loertscher
Professor, San Jose State University

This is a wonderful collection of resources on inquiry. However, one of the best resources in many schools is the professional credentialed teacher librarian who has extensive training and experience in inquiry and who can coteach alongside the classroom teacher to help kids navigate the information rich world and help deliver technology tools that actually boost learning. My own research supports the notion that teachers who teach alone most often reach about 50 percent of the kids; but, when they coteach with a teacher librarian, this figure rises from 70-100 percent. Why teach alone?

Sarry's picture

I'm yet to take this style down cos I teach 3,4 years old kids.

Dr. Maya Lim's picture
Dr. Maya Lim
Engineer, Entrepreneur, Educator

A wonderful collection of resources indeed! I wonder if there are more resources for experiment based learning.

Espe Olea's picture
Espe Olea
Middle School Professor

Amazing info! I've used just "Curiosity" and it worked so well at my class.

roguefalconer13's picture

I'm looking for high school Gov projects to give me ideas... I'm new to PBL, any suggestions?

Suzie Boss's picture
Suzie Boss
Journalist and PBL advocate

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
--Read how Mike Gwaltney updated an existing PBL gov project to focus on current issues:
--Check out #MyParty project developed by Mike Kaechele:
--Search for more government projects using BIE's project search:

Hope this helps!
Best wishes with your PBL efforts,

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