A 5-day Sequence: One way to organize inquiry & argument writing
One way to organize an investigation in the classroom
This graphic shows how the disciplinary literacy tools can be used across a 5-day period to support student inquiry and argument writing in social studies. This graphic is not meant as a rigid structure, but as a suggestion for one way to structure an investigation in social studies classrooms. Teachers should adjust and adapt materials to suit their contexts, and this may affect the number of days a teacher spends on an investigation. The sample teacher planning tool (lower right) can help you make proactive decisions about how to set up each investigation; these are also embedded in the teacher guide for each investigation.
Keep in mind that learning to think analytically about texts and write arguments is complex work that does not happen overnight. Students will improve if they have opportunities to practice the disciplinary work highlighted by the literacy tools four to five times throughout the year. We do not expect students to demonstrate proficiency after one investigation, but the exposure and practice they get with each investigation is key. Therefore, do not spend so long on any one investigation that your students become disengaged and unmotivated. Instead, build their stamina and confidence over time and treat each investigation as an opportunity to practice complex ways of thinking, reading, and writing. By the end of each year spent on these goals, you will see improvement.