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Inquiry, the Stripling Model and the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC)

The Stripling Model of Inquiry


 Click on each of the tabs in the box below this one to learn about the important questions you will need to be asking yourself as you cycle through the six phases in the Stripling Model of Inquiry.

The Phases of Inquiry

 At the beginning of the Connect Phase, ask yourself:

  • What interests me about this idea or topic?
  • What do I already know or think I know about this topic?
  • What background information would help me get an overview of my topic?

Before moving to the Wonder Phase, ask yourself:

  • Do I know enough about the idea or topic to ask good questions?
  • Am I interested enough in the idea or topic to investigatate it? 

At the beginning of the Wonder Phase, ask yourself:

  • What questions do I have about the topic or idea?
  • Why am I doing this research?
  • What do I expect to find? 

Before moving to the Investigate Phase, ask yourself:

  • Can my questions be answered through investigation?
  • Will my questions lead me to answers that will fulfill my assignment or purpose for research?

At the beginning of the Investigate Phase, ask yourself:

  • What are all of the sources that might be used?
  • Which sources will be most useful and valuable?
  • How do I locate these sources?
  • How do I find the information in each source?
  • How do I evaluate the information that I find?

Before moving to the Construct Phase, ask yourself:

  • Have I located sources with diverse perspectives?
  • Have I found enough accurate information to answer my questions?
  • Have I discovered information gaps and filled them with more research?
  • Have i begun to identify relationships and patterns and thoughtfully reacted to the information I found?

At the beginning of the Construct Phase, ask yourself:

  • Have any main ideas emerged from the research?
  • Did I find enough evidence to form an opinion or support my thesis?
  • What organizational tools will help me make sense of my information?

Before moving to the Express Phase, ask yourself:

  • Have I drawn conclusions that are supported by the evidence?
  • Have I organized my conclusions and evidence to present them effectively?

At the beginning of the Express Phase, ask yourself:

  • What type of product or presentation will allow me to present my conclusions and evidence effectively to the intended audience?
  • What technology will help me create a product or presentation?
  • How will I get help to revise and edit my product?

Before moving to the Reflect Phase, ask yourself:

  • Have I organized the product/presentation to make my major points nd present convincing evidence?
  • Does  my product/presentation fulfill all of the requirements of the assignment?

At the beginning of the Reflect Phase, ask yourself:

  • Is my product/presentation as effective as I can make it?
  • How well did my inquiry process go?
  • How can I get feedback on my final product to use in my next inquiry project?

Before moving to another assignment or personal inquiry, ask yourself:

  • What new understandings did I develop about the topic?
  • What did I learn about the inquiry process?
  • What questions do I still have about this topic that I might explore later?

One Possible Way This MIght Look

Explore the tabs in the box below this one to get an idea of what a unit planned with a teacher might look like.  Spend some time reviewing each of the graphic organizers (both ESIFC and the Independent Investigation Model) recommended for use at each of the phases of inquiry.   

Graphic Organizers


Get Organized!  Set up your folders and sub-folders.  Keep track of all your materials.   

Record any questions that come up for you on the Questions I Have sheet. 

Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Connect Phase/Topic Step

In this phase of inquiry, you will think about what you already know about the topic of child labor.  Using the graphic organizers provided, you will begin to connect to the topic by interviewing people you know and thinking about child labor as it pertains to you personally.

Resources for Connect Phase/Topic Step

Interview parents, grandparents, and teachers about what kind of work they did when they were children.  Did they have chores?  What were they?  Did they get an allowance for doing them?  How much?  When did they get their first job?  What was it?  How much were they paid?  Think about how this work compares to the work (if any) that you do.

Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Wonder Phase/Goal Setting

Although you have been asking questions all along, this phase of inquiry is called Wonder because it asks to you think deeply about what you want to know.   You will use the graphic organizers below to keep track of any questions that come up for you as you review the resources provided.

Resources:  Child Labor in History (Videos and PDF)

One of the jobs children had was Oyster Shucker.  If you are not certain how an oyster is shucked, watch the video to get an idea what's involved in the work.   How to Shuck an Oyster Video

Once you have watched the video, think about these questions:  

  • How easy do you think it would be for a young child to shuck oysters all day long?
  • What safety issues do you think a young child would face doing this work for long periods of time?

Resources:  Modern Day Child Labor (Videos, PDF & Website article on child labor used in the production of chocolate)

Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Investigate/Research

In this phase of inquiry, you will be locating resources, evaluating and taking notes from them using the graphic organizers provided below.

Resources Guidance

NOTE:  use your questions to guide you in your search for resources.

You are expected to use a minimum of three resources.  These may include:  articles, videos, graphs/charts/maps, books, interviews, and websites.   Feel free to use more than three resources if you like.   The more resources you use, the more in-depth your research will be.  Remember to keep track of all the resources you use to get information, and use one set of Notefacts Sheets to take notes on each of the  resources you use. 

REMEMBER:  To access additional articles in Kids Info Bits Junior Scholastic and Britannica School refer to the yellow sheet you were given in class for usernames and passwords.

See below for some books from our school library that you can refer to for your research.

Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Construct Phase/Organize

In this phase of inquiry, you will us the graphic organizers provided to:

  • sort and organize your notefacts.
  • organize your sources
  • make a claim based on the facts you gathered (this one is in red because it is the most important one!)

Once you have sorted your notes into categories, complete the Note Fact Organization Conference Sheet with your teacher.  This will help you determine if there are gaps in your information that you will need to address before moving on.

NOTE:  The last graphic organizer in this phase (So What?  What Is Your Claim?) is the most important one.  Do not go on to the next phase until you have completed it.

Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Express Phase/Product & Presentation

In this phase of inquiry, you create a product to present your claims/conclusions to an audience.  

For this assignment, you are being asked to create a PowePoint presentation (no more than 12 slides).  NOTE:  Bad PowerPoint presentations are easy to create. Good PowerPoint presentations are a different story. Use the resources on this page to assist with the creation of a good PowerPoint presentation.

Your PowerPoint should have:

  • A title slide with both partner names on it.
  • a thesis slide (this is where you state your claim/conclusions)
  • slides with evidence that supports your thesis (one piece of evidence per slide)
  • a concluding slide.
  • a slide that lists the resources you used.


Graphic organizers, directions and resources for Reflect Phase/Goal Evaluation

In this phase of inquiry, you reflect on:  

  • how you did throughout the process
  • what you would like to improve
  • any additional questions you have that were not answered by your inquiry

You are nearly done!!!  Complete the two graphic organizers provided below and include them in your portfolio.  Be sure to double check all your work.