Content Area Institute: Supporting Inquiry across the Curriculum Grades K-2

Wednesday, January 23 - Friday, January 25, 2019

Grade: K-2
Featuring: Shanna Schwartz, Beth Hickey, Celena Larkey with Kathy Collins

Children are naturally curious about the world in which they live. Watch a child wander in a park collecting tiny bugs or walk down the street finding treasures and you’ll see that curiosity radiates from within. It is natural for children to explore, question, and try to make sense of the world around them. This curiosity can be an engine for reading and writing during your workshops and beyond! This institute will help you harness students’ natural curiosities as you teach them to co-author learning projects and coach them to raise the level of their inquiries.

You will explore ho w inquiry can live inside of small pockets of the school day . Y our morning meeting can support inquiry, and there are a score of other ways you can embed messages about the learning life into the existing structures of your day. You will also learn about developing bigger inquiry projects, based both on your students’ interest and on the focus of your content-area instruction. A part of the institute will be designed to help you use these projects to develop students’ abilities to question, learn, and engage in conversations with their peers and experts in any given field of study . You’ ll learn about ho w you can teach your students to prepare for , conduct reflect on interviews and then, too, about how they can teach others what they have learned.

We’re delighted that Kathy Collins, a longtime friend of the Project and prolific author, will join the institute. Her recent book, I am Reading, challenges educators to consider how kids can engage with texts in joyful, meaningful ways. She’ll share her latest thinking about helping young learners explore, discover, and innovate.

This institute will especially help you think about ways to bring inquiry into your science and social studies classroom, transferring all that students have learned about reading and writing, talking and questioning, to other times of your day. Got a unit about magnetism you want to improve? Try out a little inquiry! Need to teach into communities in social studies? You got it, bring in a little inquiry! As students learn to transfer skill work between reading and writing to the content areas, you will watch students soar. The presenters will help you think about the balance between writing and reading, speaking and listening, and how you can assess and set students up to grow in all aspects of literacy.

Researchers know that reading is not the only way to learn. In this institute, you’ll see how children can learn from videos, interviews, webcams, field trips, and surveys. You will learn how students can develop experiments and get tips for how to guide children in the process of that experimentation. Expect to try out these different research methods as you investigate your own questions.

Questions beget questions. Curiosity begets curiosity. You’ll find that the more kids ask questions, the happier they are to explore and play around to find answers to those questions. This institute will help you find new ways to lead students through inquiries both big and small in order to teach students to think outside of the box and find more than one path in seeking answers to new questions.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will take place at the Teachers College campus.
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 W 120th Street
New York, NY