Facilitator Notes


General Suggestions for Leading a PLC about the Lesson: (These suggestions remain the same throughout all the lessons in Nonfiction Inquiry. See Specific Suggestions for this lesson below.)

  • Facilitator Preparation for the Session:
    • Read (or review) the Unit Plan in Supporting Documents, and the “Purpose of the Lesson” segment online, to understand how this lesson fits into the overall Inquiry Unit.
    • View the clips, decide on your own responses to the questions, and anticipate other possible responses from colleagues. Then review the suggested responses in the “Facilitator Notes.” Please note that the questions and responses given are suggestions only. Your insights and those of your teachers will shape the most meaningful discussions.
    • A Teacher Commentary video clip accompanies some of the lesson clips. In this Commentary, the teacher of the lesson provides her own insights into the segment of the lesson. We recommend viewing the Commentary after the discussion of each lesson segment.
    • You may want to download some of the Supporting Documents and copy them for use in the session. There is also a transcript available for each lesson.


  • During the Session:
    • Give teachers time to read the Unit Plan in Supporting Documents, and read the “Purpose of the Lesson” segment online. Discuss how this lesson contributes to the unit as a whole. Usually a “Prior to the Lesson” segment will aid you in doing this. You may want to refer to the four phases of inquiry and where this lesson falls within that process.
    • Before viewing each video clip, note the “Segment Focus” and “Questions” for the segment.
    • As you view each video clip, encourage teachers to take notes related to the focus question but also about their own questions, ideas, and thoughts.
    • After viewing each clip, have teachers turn and talk with colleagues about what they noticed, their questions and other reflections. Then lead a whole group discussion about the segment.
    • If there is a Teacher Commentary about the lesson segment, view and discuss it.


  • Concluding the Session:
    • Discuss how the session supports teachers’ current efforts or plans for their own inquiry units, what additional support is needed, and how you can facilitate that support.



Specific Suggestions for Grade 1 Water Pollution Unit, Lesson 2:

“Research from Digital and Non-Digital Texts” – Possible Responses to Questions
Please note that the questions and the responses given are suggestions only. Your insights and those of your teachers will shape the most meaningful discussions.

Connect/Engage: What are pros and cons of providing the graphic organizer for the children’s responses as they use the various resources? (See blank Graphic Organizer)


  • Several days of research is recorded on one sheet, making it easy for the children to keep all their notes together and accessible. They can look back at what they learned during previous sessions when they move on to other resources.
  • The directions written on the organizer and the boxes provide guidance and reminders over several days of research of how to respond to the various resources.
  • There are not only different types of resources, but different types of responses expected. In this way, sometimes children focus more on getting facts from text, and other times do more open-ended thinking and drawing conclusions.


  • The specific number of boxes may lead to children thinking they are “done” when they’ve completed the boxes, and thus limit their responses.

The pros and cons of course will vary depending on the students in the class.



Independent/Collaborative Practice:


How does the teacher guide the students in their thinking and recording of their ideas?? (See Student Work Samples)

  • She asks questions to help the students develop their ideas (e.g., “What do you think is happening in this picture?,” “Do you think that’s a good thing? How do you think it would get into our water?”)
  • She asks them if the pages they are reading/looking at are relevant to the research questions, and reminds them to use text features to help them find relevant parts of their books, websites, etc.
  • She engages as a co-researcher with them in pursuing a line of thinking that the children have begun, to help them develop their understanding of how the water gets polluted or what might be done about it.
  • She reads to or with them to support new learning and content-specific vocabulary.
  • She reiterates or summarizes what they have told her about their new learning to help them figure out what to record on their graphic organizers.
  • She encourages multiple ways of recording- drawing, labeling, writing, etc.
  • She refers back to the texts, both digital and non-digital, emphasizing the importance of revisiting or rereading to understand information.
  • She shows them how they could record answers to questions they have generated themselves.



Sharing: What is accomplished in this sharing session?

  • The teacher focused on having children share information they learned that answered one of the two guiding questions – “How does the water get dirty?” and “How can we prevent water pollution.” She had noted various children’s responses while conferring, and also gave them a chance to turn and talk at the beginning of sharing, which allowed her to notice ideas that would be beneficial to bring forward to the whole class. Therefore important ideas, such as causes of water pollution beyond littering, were raised by the children and added to the class’s understanding of water pollution.
  • Learning about and sharing different ways that water gets polluted provided authentic motivation for the children to want to do something about it, and led naturally into the final phases of the inquiry.


Lesson Reflection:

    • What are your overall thoughts or questions about the lesson?

  • What insights did this lesson provide into the process of an inquiry unit and how inquiry helps develop both literacy and content knowledge?


View Coalesce and Go Public. What do you think the children gained from this unit?