My last inquiry finally ended two weeks ago. It was not the most stellar. As stated in my last blog, Lynn Knowles and I did some cross-curricular work together. The 7th grade did an inquiry on Medieval times and 8th grade did one on the Civil War. I left it open as to what they wanted to research within those subjects, yet they were not too happy that I actually gave them "the topic." They were not as into it as the previous inquiries when they could choose their own topics. So, I used to think that students would like to do a cross-curricular inquiry, yet I know now that they didn't. At least this one. Although, I will not stop incorporating cross-curriculum into my teaching.
Now we have started a new inquiry. They are sooo much happier with this one. Thanks to Jessica's great idea of having the students make documentaries!!! They are loving it! They can choose their own topic this time, yet I did give them the documentary expectations. One of them is they need to at least attempt to contact and interview an expert on their topic, either via phone, e-mail or in person. They would get a large amount of extra credit if they could actually get an interview. Wow, was I ever surprised! Every group is going crazy with their interviews! They are basically getting a majority of their research from the experts that they are interviewing. I don't think the extra credit has been the motivator, I believe that they really want to find out information from actual people and to use their interviewing skills. They are so excited, as I am! So, I used to think that the students wouldn't want to go that step further and use their communication skills, and now I know that they are craving to use their communication skills. What an excellent way to end the school year!!!