Ontario Inquiry-pacs: What’s included?
Inquiry-pacs provide everything teachers need to engage students in critical inquiry that supports the new Ontario social studies, history and geography curricula. The resource, designed on the Cascading Curriculum model, includes lesson presentation slides, student activity and briefing sheets, detailed teaching notes, and professional learning support materials.
Teaching materials
Unit overview
A quick overview on the unit webpage outlines the overarching inquiry question, critical challenge and big ideas that will drive student learning throughout the unit. The overview also presents the two lines of inquiry students will pursue. A downloadable unit synopsis adds more detail including lesson challenges, activity summaries and curriculum links.
Presentation slides
A PowerPoint presentation (editable by teachers) provides on-screen, student-friendly instructions and attractive visual supports for the critical thinking activities that make up each lesson. Many lessons include embedded links to online resources such as maps and videos. Each set of slides concludes with suggestions for self-assessment and follow up.
Teaching notes
Detailed teaching notes for each lesson provide a lesson summary, learning objectives, curriculum links and lists of teaching and student materials. Step-by-step notes explain each suggested activity with reference to the corresponding presentation slides. Suggested cues for student Thoughtbook entries are also included.
Student materials
Briefing sheets
Briefing sheets provide students with the basic background information they need to complete inquiry activities on a particular topic. The content is presented at an age-appropriate reading level in an attractive layout that contains relevant and interesting images. Suggestions for further research are often included.
Activity and instruction sheets
Activity sheets are designed to support student responses to critical thinking tasks presented in the PowerPoint lesson. Instruction sheets provide students with step-by-step directions for completing a task, or procedures for a particular strategy. Teachers can download activity sheets in three formats: pdf files, editable Word documents or locked-form Word documents.
Digital resources
Videos and/or websites recommended for use in a lesson are provided in downloadable formats or as links to online versions.
Additional images and documents
Some Inquiry-pacs include carefully selected sets of drawings, photographs and paintings related to lesson topics. Historical and contemporary documents such as maps, legal documents, letters and posters are provided as primary sources of information for students.
Professional learning support
These supplemental resources, with links to TC2 materials such as Tips for Teachers and Tools for Thought, offer useful guidance on key aspects of teaching through critical inquiry and the Cascading Curriculum approach. Topics include differentiating instruction, organizing collaborative groups, developing self-regulated thinking tools and effectively implementing student Thoughtbooks.
© 2014 The Critical Thinking Consortium