At middle school, each Inquiry By Design course of study is made up of seven units featuring detailed, but flexible, lesson plans aimed at building critical, standards-aligned, grade-level literacy skills. Each unit is built around challenging, grade-appropriate texts and spiraling cycles of work marked by reading, writing, and collaborative small-group and whole-class discussion. All grades of Inquiry By Design’s middle school course of study feature
- Independent reading initiatives focused on selecting books, setting goals, and tracking progress.
- A literacy notebook and independent writing routines that nestle alongside inquiries into the craft of writing.
- Error journal work that supports and reinforces grade-appropriate language conventions by having students identify, track, and solve grammatical errors in their own writing.
- Compelling short fiction as a basis for in-depth orientation to the process of developing and writing text-based arguments.
- Engaging informational texts to help students learn to determine and analyze the development of central ideas and arguments.
- Challenging literary nonfiction to build the strategies, skills, and tenacity to deal with difficulty head on.
- Detective fiction, essays, and reportage that push students beyond superficial comprehension into the realm of inference, analysis, and inquiry.
- Multi-text studies that invite students to participate in conversations about important ideas as they take on significant narrative or informative/explanatory writing projects.
- Repeated, supported summary writing practice opportunities to ensure growth in this critical form of writing.
Grade 6 Units
- Introduction to the Reading Life
- Introduction to the Writing Life
- Introduction to Interpretive Work (Bambara and Baxter)
- Story and the Brain (Informational Texts)
- Dealing With Difficulty (Doyle and Dickinson)
- Reading Nonfiction Like a Detective
- Reading and Writing Fairy Tales
*Optional add-on: How Poems Are Built
Grade 7 Units
- Reading as Problem Solving
- Writers on Writing: Advice and Publication in the Writing Life
- Introduction to Interpretive Work (Hughes and Jackson)
- Texting and Language Change (Informational Texts)
- Dealing With Difficulty (cummings and Dillard)
- Investigative Report Writing: Explanations and Arguments
- Growing Up: Thinking With Literature
*Optional add-on: Creating Characters in Poetry: A Study of Two Poets
Grade 8 Units
- Studying Craft: Apprenticeship and Independent Writing
- Vantage Points: A Reading Life Study
- Introduction to Interpretive Work (Updike and Rivera)
- Superstitions, Patterns, and Control (Informational Texts)
- Dealing With Difficulty (Reed and Thomas)
- Metaphorically Speaking: Reading Nonfiction Like a Cognitive Linguist
- Faces of the Essay: An Orientation to the Form
*Optional add-on: Poems as Puzzles: A Pair of Poets Study