Engaging Students Through Research, Inquiry, and Investigation

Inquiry-based learning holds the key to incorporating critical skills into your curriculum, including information literacy, technology, collaboration, writing skills, and critical thinking. What's more, using this approach can help you incorporate these skills seamlessly. Intel's "Tools for Student Learning" features online tools that will engage students in problem solving, prioritizing, and other critical thinking skills.

Want to develop students' ability to perform inquiry? Try these sites below.

Investigation and Research:
Search Engines:

Sweet Search 4Meis a search engine to resources on the web for elementary students. For older students, try Sweet Search. Every site returned in search results has been reviewed by educators.

Kids Click This search engine is designed especially for younger students by librarians. All results returned in a search will be "kid-friendly."

GoGooligans Powered by Google and SafeSearch, all results returned are kid- and teen-friendly.

KidRex KidRex is a fun and safe search for kids, by kids! KidRex searches emphasize kid-related webpages from across the entire web and are powered by Google Custom Search, using Google SafeSearch technology.

Kidzsearch KidzSearch is another search engine which only returns Google "strict" search results and is not dependent on any computer, cookie, or browser settings. The same high-quality search results you would receive through Google are returned, but without adult content mixed in them.

Searchy Pants Create your own customized, kid-friendly search engine here! Designed for teachers and parents.

MyMunka Designed just for kids. This search engine also features thousands of digital flashcards and learning aids.

Fact Monster Kid friendly information portal created by the folks at Information Please.

KidSpace Information you can trust from the iSchool College at Drexel, Department of Information Science and Technology.

Kids' Infobits a free service offered by Gale Infotrac.

Instagrok This search engine creates a visual web of results that allows the user to pin facts, notes, and other media to the webbing tool. Groks are sharable with others.

Zui is kind of an Internet playground for kids. There are various sections of the site, including interesting articles, games, etc. The video section of the site is a large collection of YouTube videos considered appropriate for children. What makes it kid-friendly? All of the content that shows up on Zui is first reviewed and approved by a network of over 200 parents and teachers. Kids can log on to Zui and browse safely without concern about what they might find, and teachers and parents can request a weekly summary of their child's activity on the site.

Design a project, writing assignment, etc. with a unique twist! Check out the RAFT technique!

Project Based Learning Student choice and voice, need to know, feedback and revision: here are the seven major elements you need to make any project successful. Project based learning (or PBL) can engage students fully by immersing them in their learning. If you aren't using it, well...there's no other way to say it:
YOU SHOULD BE. Check it out!

Filamentality Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank tool that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Internet, gathering good Internet links, and turning them into online learning activities. Support is built-in along the way through Mentality Tips. In the end, you'll create a web-based activity you can share with others even if you don't know anything about HTML or serving web pages.


Bubble Create mind maps and knowledge webs online for free! Check out other online brainstorming and webbing tools on this page of the wiki.

You should probably refer to the COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE page of this wiki at all times when conducting inquiry!!
And just in case you need it...
Plagiarism Tutorial