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Inquiry-based tips

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Below you'll find resources for using inquiry in elementary social studies. inquirED has designed and curated these resources for you in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


PD & Learning

Intro to Inquiry Session

Description: Use this session to bring the Massachusetts DESE Summer Institute learnings to your colleagues

Audience: Elementary Social Studies educators

Duration: 2 hours

Session Materials

Facilitation Guide

A step-by-step guide for introducing the use of inquiry in social studies.

Google Slide Show

A customizable deck to support your inquiry session with detailed speaker notes.

Inquiry in

Social Studies Session

Description: Use this session as a follow up  to the Intro to Inquiry session to deepen knowledge of the inquiry process.

Audience: Elementary Social Studies educators

Duration: 1 hours

Session Materials

Facilitation Guide 

A step-by-step guide to dive deeper into the inquiry process looking at the C3 Framework.

Video Prompt

A video to use to frame the discussion around using inquiry in social studies.


Curriculum Resources

Download inquirED lesson plans with full student facing resources. Learn more about inquirED's curriculum.

Inquiry Journeys

K-5 Scope & Sequence

Download inquirED's K-5 scope and sequence for elementary

social studies.

Lesson Plan: Segregation

Students begin their study of fairness by exploring segregation and the Civil Rights Movement.

Online Source Rubric

Help students evaluate online sources using this rubric.

Unit Outline: 

Global Geography & Trade

Preview inquirED's 3-5 Unit to view an example of sustained and rigorous inquiry.

Lesson Plan: Ruby Bridges

Students learn about Ruby Bridges to improve their understanding of fairness. 

Inquiry Challenge Statement

An example of impact  verbs and inquiry challenge frames.

Unit Outline:

Fairness and Justice

Preview inquirED's 3-5 Unit to view an example of sustained and rigorous inquiry.

Lesson Plan: More About Ruby

Students compare and contrast primary and secondary sources about Ruby Bridges' bravery.

Lesson Plan: Issuing the Inquiry Challenge Statement

Students create their Inquiry Challenge Statement.