Stage 2: Defining and responding


A list of suggested activities for this stage of enquiry can be found in the 'try it' section.

Digital tools

Use the online digital tools database in the 'try it' section to search for tools by cost, stage of enquiry, and keywords.

Case studies


Students in one Year 8 group decided they wanted to develop their enquiry into the theme of ‘sex and sexuality’. To help students think about the many aspects of this topic, the teachers asked each student to start making a scrapbook. The teachers provided a stack of newspapers and magazines, and stated that the media is responsible for communicating to the population many things to do with sex. The students cut out relevant things to do with the topic area and stuck these in their books. They included images, headlines, whole stories, tabloid cartoon strips, ‘agony aunt’ columns, and so on. They also looked at a number of websites aimed at teenagers and printed off relevant pages or items, including quizzes, polls and advice pages. At home, the students noted down television programmes that mentioned sex, and what they said or represented about it, and continued contributing to their scrapbooks. At the end of this process, the teachers encouraged class discussion about the issues or themes that had been raised, and used this emerging knowledge as the basis for agreeing with students what they wanted to look into in more detail.

Thinking boxes

In another Year 8 class, students were developing small group projects on different new technologies. These included mobile phones, computers and video games consoles. The teacher was concerned that students examined these items in depth and detail. He designed a task which involved the students agreeing in their groups on a simple description of their item. This was written on a small slip of paper. He then handed out larger sheets, and the students stuck their description in the middle. Around it, they then had to write down how their chosen technology affected their everyday lives. For example, how had video games consoles influenced the lives of some of the boys in the class? After this, the students were provided with larger sheets again, and this time they had to do some research, using the library and the internet, about the global impact of their items. They then had to research their item’s development over time, and finally speculate about how such technologies would develop in the future. By the end of the activity, the students had all completed highly detailed posters which expanded from the centre to describe each object’s local and personal, global and historical impacts. Students added other notes, images and decoration, and then read and rated each others’ depth of research and clarity of communication. The teacher supported the students throughout with a set of step-by-step instructions and resources. The internet and books from the library were also made available for all sessions.

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