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Students complete a QBI (question based inquiry) on their favorite science topic in this lesson




9, 10, 11, 12  


Title – Question Based Inquiry
By – Dawn Pawlowski
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 9-12

Objectives: Students will…

      (1) identify question starter words (who, what where, when why),


      (2) create a display that informs people about a specific topic,


      (3) describe what QBI is, and


    (4) identify the steps for completing a QBI

Materials Needed:







      Index Cards


      Colored Pencils, Markers, or Crayons




    Display Board

Time Frame: This project should last about 2 weeks. Class time allotted to the QBI and time allotted for homework will affect the length of project.

The QBI can

      Step-by-Step Directions:
      Day 1:


      1. Have students list science topics they would be interested in researching. If you have a computer lab, allow students to explore these topics on the Internet.


      2. Have students pick their favorite topic. All topics must be approved by the teacher before research starts.
      Day 2:


      1. Mini-lesson: How to write a good question; use the Five W’s (who, what, where, when and why).


      2. Write first question together, “What is…”.


      3. Using the question-writing format, have students write 10 questions about their topic. All questions must be approved by the teacher.
      Day 3-5:


      1. Have students search the Internet or library for the answers to their questions. As they find their answers, they should

        (1) print off the computer or make photocopies or


        (2) take notes on index cards or paper (each question should have its own index card or paper)


      Day 6-7


      1. Using their notes, write answers to the questions. Each answer should be a couple of sentences long and written in complete sentences. All answers should be written in their own words. If necessary, teach a mini-lesson on paraphrasing.
      Day 8-9


      1. Assemble display board. Have students design a display board on their topic. Have students use markers/colored pencils/crayons, pictures, and stencils to create it.


    2. Display student work!!!


      1. Use QBI for other subject areas – language arts, history, etc.


      2. Students can work in partners, small groups, or individually.


      3. Instead of making a display board, create a PowerPoint presentation or a research paper.


      4. Adjust the numbers of questions student have to research based on

        (1) student age and


      (2) disability – if applicable

E-Mail Dawn Pawlowski !

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