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The Debrief

Implementing Inquiry Effectively with Newsela’s C3 Inquiries Collection

Kelsey Trabucco
Feb 11, 2020

As a former educator turned Newsela Content Producer, my experience in and out of the classroom has exposed me to many instructional methodologies and frameworks. One in specific, inquiry-based learning, encourages students to lead the way by developing questions, research, and then share and reflect on the process. Ultimately, the framework drives engagement by allowing students to drive their own learning. 

As part of the Newsela Social Studies team, we utilized the C3 inquiries framework to create the C3 Inquiries collection on Newsela. We wanted to create a resource that would help teachers save time and support their instruction, so we worked to ensure that each unit includes current event connections to correspond to one of the C3 Inquiries. The team collaborated together to  design the collection to differentiate and supplement individual C3-developed inquiries through the inclusion of compelling and supporting questions, primary sources, formative and summative tasks, and student- and teacher-facing instructions. Our authentic and up-to-date content gives students the chance to engage with relevant topics and make connections between the past and present. We also embedded instructional supports to drive students to learn about taking informed action in their communities and directly engage with and discuss topics that are relevant and applicable to their lives.  

We are so excited that our partnership and incorporation of C3-developed inquiries allows for learners to access and engage in inquiry regardless of their reading level, while offering teachers the autonomy and flexibility they need in their classroom with the content they need at their fingertips. Check out a preview below of the features included in the collection. Each topic, like the one below, “Focused Inquiry: Pearl Harbor” includes a Summative Performance Task which is made of an Argument and an Extension. Topics are also built using articles detailing historical and current content. 

C3 Inquiries Collections:

Discover topics paired with instructional sets on the left hand navigation

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“Focused Inquiry: Pearl Harbor”:

Each topic begins with a “Compelling Question” along with a “Summative Performance Task” that is directly aligned to C3. In this focused inquiry, students analyze complex and interacting factors that influence the perspectives of people during different historical eras.

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“Taking Informed Action”:

The Taking Informed Action Instructional Set allows students to make direct connections between historical content and current events. The below article encourages students to take the completed lesson on multiple perspectives after Pearl Harbor and explore how people today have been neglected by the general public in times of need. 

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