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7 Great Educational Web Tools That Encourage Inquiry-based Research

December 31, 2015
ReadWriteThink is one of our favourite resources for interactive tools and materials to use with students in class. We have already reviewed several of its tools in previous posts here in EdTech and mLearning. Today, we are sharing with you this awesome collection of web-based applications that facilitate and encourage inquiry-based learning. These interactives cover different themes and can be used with various grade levels. We invite you to check them out  and share with your colleagues.

1- Animal Inquiry


“The Animal Inquiry interactive is a versatile tool that can enhance student inquiry in research at the elementary level. The graphic organizer invites students to explore four facets of animals [basic facts, animal babies, interaction with others, and habitats (shown at left)]; the possibilities for extensions or adaptations, moreover, make this a a nice complement with inquiry-based projects.”

2- Book Cover Guide

“Explore the parts of book covers and dust jackets with this online guide, designed to allow users to review the content that appears on each portion of these artifacts. Students can use the tool to review the parts of a book cover before analyzing how book covers work or creating their own book covers.”

3- Drama Map


“n updated version of the Story Map, this interactive best suits secondary students in literary study. Students can map out the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution (shown at left) for a variety purposes and activities associated with works of drama. The interactive includes a set of graphic organizers which can facilitate postreading as well as prewriting activities that best suit your curriculum.”

4- Fact Fragment Frenzy


“Fact Fragment Frenzy, included in an extended research skills unit which also employs the Hints about Print interactive, aids students in learning the importance of finding the words in sentences and paragraphs that contain the facts they need for compiling their research. They practice by pulling important words from a text over to a virtual notebook (shown at left).”

5- Hero’s Journey

“The hero's journey is an ancient story pattern that can be found in texts from thousands of years ago or in newly released Hollywood blockbusters. This interactive tool will provide students with background on the hero's journey and give them a chance to explore several of the journey's key elements. Students can use the tool to record examples from a hero's journey they have read or viewed or to plan out a hero's journey of their own.”

6- Hints about Print

“Hints about Print, included in an extended research skills unit which also employs the Fact Fragment Frenzy interactive, aids students in evaluating print resources that contain the facts they need for compiling their research. The tool asks prompting questions (shown at left) to guide young researchers in the process of their work. Having elementary students participate in this critical-thinking process early in their school experience promises to enrich further study and enjoyment of nonfiction texts.”

7- Literary Elements Map


“An updated version of the Story Map, this interactive best suits secondary students in literary study. The tool includes a set of graphic organizers designed to assist teachers and students in prewriting and postreading activities, focusing on the key elements of character, setting, conflict, and resolution development (shown at left). As with the Story Map, this interactive can be used in multiple contexts, whether they be author studies, genre studies, or thematic units, among others.”