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Five Ways to Encourage Inquiry in the Elementary Science Classroom with Write About This

The fusion of mobile-technology and instruction can have a powerful impact on the strides students make with their learning in the science classroom. We are constantly trying to find ways to encourage curiosity of the world around them and to develop questions to gain a better understanding. Children are always eager to explore, manipulate, and share their ideas when technology is involved. The Write About This app can help students practice, apply and reflect on basic science skills. Here are five ways you can help students apply inquiry in the classroom!

Generate questions: Have students take use the Write About This app to take pictures during a science demonstration or activity. Instruct them to select one picture and use the “Create Your Own” prompt feature to write a question prompt for the picture. Encourage them to explore the possibilities of What, How, and Why! Students can then trade iPads and answer each other’s prompts to further share with the class. This is a great way to gauge understanding and summarize an activity

Make observations: Have students find a picture from the Write About This app gallery (or they can take a picture on their own) that applies to what they are currently studying. This can be an object, animal, habitat, etc. Are you studying properties of matter? Physical traits of an animal? Instruct them to write their observations of the picture using key vocabulary terms.

Investigating prompt

Compare and Contrast: Display a picture of an object for the class to see (such as an animal, an insect, an element, a natural substance, etc). Have students find an additional picture in the Write About This app gallery of another object. Instruct them to write about how their object and your object is the same and how they are different. Then as a class or in collaborative groups, review student samples and work together to explain why they may be similar or different.

Explain Findings: Take students on a nature walk, a walk through the school, or on a field trip. Instruct them to take a picture of something they discover and write about how it can relate to their science studies.

Scientific Journal Reflection: After a science activity, have students reflect on what they just experienced with the Write About This app. What did they learn? Did they understand what happened? Do they still have questions? This is a great way to evaluate if more instruction is needed!

These are just a few ways to get students writing and exploring in the science inquiry-based elementary classroom. Students will enjoy having ownership and sharing their individual ideas and conclusions during science activities. How do you like to foster inquiry in the science classroom?


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

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