Inquiry exemplars and templates

Services to Schools' inquiry exemplar.
Resources of all kinds play a vital role in inquiry learning. Use our inquiry exemplars and explore other teaching plans and templates to inspire and inform learning in your school.
  • Service to Schools' inquiry exemplars

    Services to Schools' inquiry exemplars model how to use resources to inspire inquiry. The exemplars link to the New Zealand Curriculum learning areas.

    Adapt the inquiry exemplars to meet your own needs. You’ll need to consider:

    • resources — how they complement others you have access to
    • questions — how they align with your inquiry focus
    • inquiry frameworks — how they fit with the inquiry model you use
    • links to the curriculum — how they match the curriculum focus of your inquiry.

    Our inquiry exemplars contain fertile or essential questions.

    Fertile questions

    What the inquiry exemplars contain

    Each inquiry exemplar focuses on a specific topic and contains:

    1. A resources map which lists a range of quality complementary resources for the inquiry topic, including:

    • print resources — including non-fiction and fiction
    • digital content — including digital resources and curated content
    • guides, tools and exemplars
    • other resources and experiences.

    2. Resources organised to focus on different learning areas, including

    • the arts
    • English
    • health and physical education
    • mathematics and statistics
    • science
    • social sciences
    • technology focus
    • te reo and tikanga Māori.

    3. All resources organised according to inquiry behaviours and approaches, such as:

    • the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum
    • the principles and values of the New Zealand Curriculum
    • a 6-stage process of inquiry framework
    • the guided inquiry framework.

    4. Some specific print and digital resources organised by:

    • the kinds of fertile questions these resources might inspire
    • the inquiry behaviours and approaches they might support.

    Inquiry exemplar documents

    Inquiry exemplars — what they are, how they work (pdf, 1.3MB)

    Sample resource map: Aotearoa New Zealand culture and heritage (pdf, 525KB) 

    Blank resource map (pdf, 157KB) — first page of inquiry exemplar to map your own inquiry resources

    Rocky shore inquiry exemplar — years 1 to 3 (pdf, 1.1MB)

    Kiwiana inquiry exemplar — years 4 to 6 (pdf, 1MB)

    Globalisation inquiry exemplar — years 7 to 8 (pdf, 723KB)

    Women's suffrage inquiry exemplar — years 7 to 10 (pdf, 1.2MB)

  • Service to Schools' inquiry exemplars

    Services to Schools' inquiry exemplars model how to use resources to inspire inquiry. The exemplars link to the New Zealand Curriculum learning areas.

    Adapt the inquiry exemplars to meet your own needs. You’ll need to consider:

    • resources — how they complement others you have access to
    • questions — how they align with your inquiry focus
    • inquiry frameworks — how they fit with the inquiry model you use
    • links to the curriculum — how they match the curriculum focus of your inquiry.

    Our inquiry exemplars contain fertile or essential questions.

    Fertile questions

    What the inquiry exemplars contain

    Each inquiry exemplar focuses on a specific topic and contains:

    1. A resources map which lists a range of quality complementary resources for the inquiry topic, including:

    • print resources — including non-fiction and fiction
    • digital content — including digital resources and curated content
    • guides, tools and exemplars
    • other resources and experiences.

    2. Resources organised to focus on different learning areas, including

    • the arts
    • English
    • health and physical education
    • mathematics and statistics
    • science
    • social sciences
    • technology focus
    • te reo and tikanga Māori.

    3. All resources organised according to inquiry behaviours and approaches, such as:

    • the key competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum
    • the principles and values of the New Zealand Curriculum
    • a 6-stage process of inquiry framework
    • the guided inquiry framework.

    4. Some specific print and digital resources organised by:

    • the kinds of fertile questions these resources might inspire
    • the inquiry behaviours and approaches they might support.

    Inquiry exemplar documents

    Inquiry exemplars — what they are, how they work (pdf, 1.3MB)

    Sample resource map: Aotearoa New Zealand culture and heritage (pdf, 525KB) 

    Blank resource map (pdf, 157KB) — first page of inquiry exemplar to map your own inquiry resources

    Rocky shore inquiry exemplar — years 1 to 3 (pdf, 1.1MB)

    Kiwiana inquiry exemplar — years 4 to 6 (pdf, 1MB)

    Globalisation inquiry exemplar — years 7 to 8 (pdf, 723KB)

    Women's suffrage inquiry exemplar — years 7 to 10 (pdf, 1.2MB)

  • Developing unit plans, inquiry models and templates

    There are many unit plans and templates you can adapt for your own inquiry learning that help you provide relevant and authentic learning experiences for your students.

    Many schools have their own templates for planning an inquiry. This enables collaboration between staff and consistency across all subjects.

    Understanding inquiry learning — includes examples of inquiry learning models.

    Other plans and templates

    There are other unit plans and templates that can help you develop an inquiry project.

    Planning and guided inquiry unit - template (pdf) — an adaptable planning template.

    Planning powerful units of inquiry (pdf) — an outline of a planning process.

    Social inquiry planning tool — you can log in to use this online interactive planning tool designed by the Ministry of Education.

    Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) — has a wide range of resources integrating the curriculum and inquiry units of work.

    Approaches to social inquiry (pdf) — describes the social inquiry approach and gives examples of how it can be applied.

    Gore, A (2011). Rocket your way to inquiry: how to turn inquiry learning into meteoric success — a guidebook for inquiry planning, Essential Resources Educational Publishers Ltd

  • Developing unit plans, inquiry models and templates

    There are many unit plans and templates you can adapt for your own inquiry learning that help you provide relevant and authentic learning experiences for your students.

    Many schools have their own templates for planning an inquiry. This enables collaboration between staff and consistency across all subjects.

    Understanding inquiry learning — includes examples of inquiry learning models.

    Other plans and templates

    There are other unit plans and templates that can help you develop an inquiry project.

    Planning and guided inquiry unit - template (pdf) — an adaptable planning template.

    Planning powerful units of inquiry (pdf) — an outline of a planning process.

    Social inquiry planning tool — you can log in to use this online interactive planning tool designed by the Ministry of Education.

    Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) — has a wide range of resources integrating the curriculum and inquiry units of work.

    Approaches to social inquiry (pdf) — describes the social inquiry approach and gives examples of how it can be applied.

    Gore, A (2011). Rocket your way to inquiry: how to turn inquiry learning into meteoric success — a guidebook for inquiry planning, Essential Resources Educational Publishers Ltd

  • An example of inquiry — a 6-stage process focused on World War 1

    The Ministry of Education and National Library have developed World War 1 inquiry guides and resources for years 1 to 13 that are aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum. They’re supported by a 6-stage process of inquiry that draws upon several established inquiry frameworks.

    The stages are:

    1. I wonder: teachers and students explore resources as 'hooks' to inspire curiosity, helping students to develop rich inquiry questions.
    2. Find out: students seek, validate and record information relevant to their inquiry questions.
    3. Make meaning: students develop their conceptual understanding of their inquiry topic.
    4. Take action: students develop an authentic, tangible outcome to their inquiry.
    5. Share: students share their learning and outcomes with an audience.
    6. Let's reflect: students evaluate their progress at each stage of the inquiry process.

    The 6 stages are neither static nor linear. Students move through and between the stages throughout their inquiry. In particular, reflection occurs throughout the process.

    There are 4 principles that underpin this approach to inquiry.

    • Meaningful learning is achieved through making connections between new learning and students’ lives.
    • Students access learning in different ways.
    • Learning journeys should be/are co-constructed between students and teachers, and the librarian.
    • Quality resources should be/are drawn from local, national and global sources so connections between them can encourage big-picture understanding.

    First World War inquiry guides and resources

  • An example of inquiry — a 6-stage process focused on World War 1

    The Ministry of Education and National Library have developed World War 1 inquiry guides and resources for years 1 to 13 that are aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum. They’re supported by a 6-stage process of inquiry that draws upon several established inquiry frameworks.

    The stages are:

    1. I wonder: teachers and students explore resources as 'hooks' to inspire curiosity, helping students to develop rich inquiry questions.
    2. Find out: students seek, validate and record information relevant to their inquiry questions.
    3. Make meaning: students develop their conceptual understanding of their inquiry topic.
    4. Take action: students develop an authentic, tangible outcome to their inquiry.
    5. Share: students share their learning and outcomes with an audience.
    6. Let's reflect: students evaluate their progress at each stage of the inquiry process.

    The 6 stages are neither static nor linear. Students move through and between the stages throughout their inquiry. In particular, reflection occurs throughout the process.

    There are 4 principles that underpin this approach to inquiry.

    • Meaningful learning is achieved through making connections between new learning and students’ lives.
    • Students access learning in different ways.
    • Learning journeys should be/are co-constructed between students and teachers, and the librarian.
    • Quality resources should be/are drawn from local, national and global sources so connections between them can encourage big-picture understanding.

    First World War inquiry guides and resources