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 and/or Lesson 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 and/or Lesson 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 2 Weather Inquiry Unit, Lesson 3:
“Synthesize Information to Draw Conclusions” – Possible Responses to Questions
Please note that the questions and responses given are suggestions only. Your insights and those of your teachers will shape the most meaningful discussions.

Guide: How does the teacher scaffold the process of drawing a conclusion?

  • She first reviews the class notes and determines the most important facts about the type of weather.
  • She provides the opportunity for the children to turn and talk to develop their thinking.
  • She shows a video clip that gives the children more background knowledge from which to draw a reasonable conclusion about safety during a tsunami.
  • She works with the children to record their conclusion.

Collaborative Practice: What do you think about the children’s work in their groups to reach a conclusion? (See Student Work Samples)

  • The children are able to work together, sharing one paper and developing one conclusion among them.
  • They actively search through the information they have collected to try to find evidence to make a conclusion.
  • They have enough knowledge developed through the inquiry to help most of them reach reasonable conclusions.
  • The teacher also has conferred with their groups many times, so she can point them in the direction of information they have already learned to help in drawing their conclusions.

Sharing: What do you notice about the teacher’s and the students’ roles during sharing?

  • Students appear to be listening to each other and respond to each other’s ideas. They make connections to their personal experiences and see relationships between the groups (“That’s the opposite of ours.”)
  • They are able to come into the conversation without being called on by the teacher.
  • The comments at the end about how you have to think, and “It was a thick question,” reinforce that children are becoming comfortable with the idea that drawing conclusions sometimes requires thinking that develops over time and isn’t an instant answer.
  • The teacher encourages the children to speak to one another and respond to each other.
  • The teacher participates in the conversation as an equal when she sees the need for clarification or redirection.
  • The teacher refers to the children as “experts,” and confirms their findings without a lot of empty praise. She focuses more on the learning than on evaluating their responses.

Lesson Reflection and Next Steps: 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?