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How To Easily Differentiate the Inquiry Process For Your Students

Do you have students that struggle with the inquiry process? Are you looking for easy ways to differentiate inquiry for your students? Use this inquiry differentiation chart to support your students and help them successfully complete their inquiry projects.

What is Inquiry?

To me, inquiry means to ask questions and find answers.

Why Teach the Inquiry Process?

If kids can ask questions and know how to discover answers, they'll be more successful in school.

And later in life.

Our Classrooms Today

Nowadays, our classrooms are filled with kids that have different learning needs. You may feel overwhelmed at the thought of teaching inquiry to all those different needs but don't get stressed over it!

Differentiating inquiry CAN be easy!

Differentiation Built Into Inquiry Based Learning

Inquiry already has some differentiation build into the process because students have choice. They can:

  • decide on a topic based on their interests.
  • bring their unique background knowledge and experiences to their projects.
  • choose a question which is important to them.
  • determine how they will present their information.

Easily Add More Differentiation

If needed, you can add even more differentiation to meet the individual learning needs of your students. This is where the Inquiry Differentiation Chart comes in.

The Inquiry Differentiation Chart is a part of the Touch of Honey FREEBIE Library

CLICK HERE To Get Instant Access To the Freebie Library and Start Using the Differentiation Chart Today 

Here Are Just Some Of The Suggestions On The Inquiry Differentiation Chart:

Non-Writers (students who are unable to write anything down)

  • dictate research into computer or have someone scribe for them.
  • provide project choices which do not require students to write (record a video, sing a song, etc.).

Beginning Writers (students who are able to construct a sentence)

  • Provide list of vocabulary with illustrations which students can reference as they write.
  • Provide graphic organizers and templates to support beginning writers.

Reluctant Writers (students with low writing output)

  • Use a computer, laptop, or tablet to record research.
  • Create a picture in mind, describe in words, and then write down ideas.

EAL Students (students with English as a second language)

  • Pre-teach vocabulary and provide background information related to inquiry topic and the inquiry process.
  • Pair students with a partner.

Students Who Struggle To Stay Focused

  • Encourage students to choose projects which involve movement or hands-on activities.
  • Use online or web resources (images and videos) to find information.

Perfectionists (students who want to be perfect)

  • Focus on finding information and answering questions and not on spelling and/or grammar until revising and editing projects at the end.
  • Teach perfectionists how to take jot notes and “mess up the page” by adding additional comments, diagrams, etc.

Speed Writers (students who just want to finish)

  • Focus on how to revise and edit work.
  • Encourage speed writers to slow down and present their research in a neat and ordered way.

Students Who Need To Be Challenged

  • Have students focus on the entire writing process (pre-writing, research, draft, revising and editing, final copy).
  • Provide research in paragraph form.

These and other ideas are included on the Inquiry Differentiation Chart.

Get Ready-Made Inquiry Projects To Save Time And Get Your Students Started With Inquiry Today

Ready-to-use Inquiry projects are available on TeachersPayTeachers. Projects are available on the following topics:

The following materials are included in each inquiry project:

  • 9 Sample Inquiry Questions and Blank Templates
  • Research Templates (with primary and regular lines)
  • Class Book Templates (with primary and regular lines)
  • Inquiry Is ... and I Wonder ... Posters
  • Steps to Writing An Inquiry Posters
  • Presentation Ideas Poster
  • Self, Peer, and Teacher Assessments (with happy faces and 4 point scale)
  • 2 Rubrics

Interested in a number of inquiry projects? All the above projects are a part of the Inquiry Based Learning Projects BUNDLE.

The inquiry projects listed in this blogpost are all a part of the Writing Teacher's Roadmap Club. Do not purchase if you are a part of the club.

Happy writing!

Until next time,


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