Engage Learners with an Inquiry Lesson about Traveling to School

Would you like to start the school year with an inquiry lesson that supports the Engage Shared Foundation? Here’s an idea for you. Ask learners how they travel to school. Then, invite them to think about how children around the world go to school. Do they imagine all learners travel the same way?

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: VI.A.3 Learners follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information by evaluating information for accuracy, validity, social and cultural context, and appropriateness for need.

My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huynh Kim Liêm

Begin the inquiry lesson by reading My First Day. This gorgeous book takes readers on a ride in a long boat along the Mekong River. Readers witness a boy’s fantastic journey as he paddles his way to school. 

While reading the story, encourage learners to ask questions. They may want to know more about life along the Mekong River. They’ll probably have questions about the fascinating animals in the story. Record questions on an anchor chart.

Web Search Inquiry Lesson

Before learners search for answers to their inquiry questions, model these searching tips:

  • Go to Google Search and type in “life along the Mekong Delta.” 
  • View the results. Tell learners that anyone can post anything they want on the internet. Say, “Sometimes, people post things that are not real. I want to find good information about how people live along the Mekong Delta. Let me show you what I look for before I click on a website.”
  • Tell learners that there are 3 steps that you take before clicking on a link. Say, “First, I read the titles. Then, when I find a title that seems interesting, I read the description. Finally, I look at the web address, or the URL” 
  • Explain the differences between the domain suffixes listed in your search. Tell learners that domain suffixes don’t tell the whole story. Point out that anyone can choose and pay for a domain suffix that might not fit the general rule. 
  • Next, show learners how they can preview a video by hovering over the image. Ask why this might be a good idea before clicking on the image. 

Reverse Image Search Lesson

Older learners may wonder how children in other countries travel to school. They may want to do an image search to learn more. This query can lead to sensational pictures. Show learners these steps to do a reverse image search and learn more about the photo:

    • Visit Google Images. Drag a saved image into the search bar. 
    • Click the camera icon in the search bar. Paste the URL of an image in the search bar. 
    • When using the Google Chrome browser, right click on an image and choose “Search Google for Image”

Learners can look at the search results and do more investigative work. Model how to search for clues by reading titles and web addresses.

The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney

Photographs of children from all over the world fill the pages in The Way to School. Readers will see the difficult journeys some take for an education. Learners may wonder why school is so important for those children.

In our book Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades, Rebecca Granatini and I feature a lesson based on The Way to School. Guiding questions lead learners to think about education in different societies. Learners gather information by looking for clues in photographs. Anchor charts and worksheets support learners in this Include Shared Foundation lesson. 

Are you looking for another lesson about vetting resources? Read “Teaching Students to SIFT through News and Information” by Colleen R. Lee. In this Knowledge Quest blog post, Lee shares what she learned at a concurrent session at the 2019 AASL National Conference. The presentation was about teaching information literacy skills to fight fake news. In her post, Lee defines terminology, shares lessons ideas, and offers a model for SIFTing through information. 

I hope this post sparks some lesson ideas. If so, please share in  the comment box below!


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Blogger: https://LibraryLessonsWithBooks.com
Skillshare Teacher: https://skl.sh/3a852D5

Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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