Researching to Deepen Understanding – CCSS ELA / Literacy – Grades 6-12

Students in classroom

These units lay out an inquiry process through which students learn how to deepen their understanding of topics. Students pose and refine inquiry questions, exploring areas they wish to investigate. They find and assess sources and organize researched material in ways that will support their analysis and integration of information. As their inquiry progresses, they evaluate and extend their research, synthesize their information, and eventually express their evolving evidence-based perspective.


Part 1. Initiating Inquiry: Students learn the purposes and processes of using inquiry and research to deepen understanding. Students initiate inquiry on a topic through collaboratively generating questions to direct and frame research.

Part 2. Gathering Information: Students learn how to conduct searches, assess and annotate sources, and keep an organized record of their findings.

Part 3. Deepening Understanding: Students analyze key sources through close reading to deepen their understanding and draw personal conclusions about their areas of investigation.

Part 4. Finalizing Inquiry: Students analyze and evaluate their material with respect to their Research Frames and refine and extend their inquiry as necessary.

Part 5. Developing and Communicating an Evidence-Based Perspective: Students draw from their research and personal analysis to develop and communicate an evidence-based perspective.

These units are part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Program.

Researching to Deepen Understanding – CCSS ELA / Literacy

Grades 6 Unit: Research Topic Repository - Prehistoric Art

Grades 7 Unit: Research Topic Repository - Water

Grades 8 Unit: Research Topic Repository - Human-Animal Interaction

Grades 9-10 Unit: Research Topic Repository - Music and Technology

Grades 11-12 Unit: Research Topic Repository - Food and Design