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Grade 10 Interdisciplinary Unit Social Studies and English: Research

Consider this...

topic + search  facts = report

The ideas and information are not yours. You are simply reporting out factual information. You may learn something new, but you are simply reproducing what you find.

  • Who invented the helicopter?
  • What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome?
  • When was the cell phone first introduced to the public?
  • Where can hand guns be used for hunting?
  • How were helicopters used in Vietnam?

On the other hand...

problem + inquiry investigation = research

The nature of your inquiry depends on the question(s) asked. The question asked will suggest personal connections and generate unique answers.

  • Who is the most powerful man in America?
  • Which treatments for cancer are the most humane?
  • When should youth be allowed to vote in federal elections?
  • What is the effect of technology on teen literacy?
  • How do athletics impact student achievement?


The Questioning Process

What is an essential question?


no simple or single right answer
addressed through reason rather than opinion/belief


unique, often counterintuitive or controversial
answers through problem solving (not found, but invented)
generate new questions


addresses fundamental issues
addresses interdisciplinary concepts, central to greater understanding

Developing an Essential Question

Developing an essential question....



Who else…? Who might…?
NOT Who did…?


Predict (hypothesis posed)



What if…? 
NOT What is…?



Compare and Contrast

Which one…? 
Here or there?  
Now or later?


Cause and Effect

Why do things happen the way they do?


Propose Solution



Evidence-based Decision 



Moral/Ethical/Practical reasoning


Inquiry Based Research Model