Introducing the Inquiry Unit

Time: approximately 30–45 minutes
Grouping: whole class, partners, and individuals


Open the conversation about what makes us special by connecting to the students’ personal experiences about what they can do and how they view themselves.


What do you like to do? Do you have anything special that you enjoy? What do you think you are good at doing?

  • Ask students what they like to do. [Making connections]
  • Offer prompts to stimulate oral sharing and discussion:
    – Do you take any lessons?
    – Do you help anyone to do anything?
    – Do you have activities that you help with at home?
    – What is one thing that you really like doing?
  • Ask students to tell a partner what they like doing. Again, offer prompts:
    • What lessons do you take?
    • Who do you help at home?
    • What is something you like to do?
    Students can discuss in partners. Ask a few partners to share their ideas with the class.
  • Think about what you like to do and make that part of your picture. My picture will show me planting flowers in the garden. What will your picture show?

    Invite students to paint or draw pictures of themselves doing that special something or helping someone.
    Encourage students to share ideas with a partner.
  • As students draw or paint, circulate and talk to them about their pictures. Encourage them to print an idea about their picture at the bottom or top of the piece of paper. You may ask students who need more support to dictate their ideas while you scribe them. Always reread a scribed message with the student.
  • What do you like to do? What is that something special about you that you are sharing? How do you do that? Why do you do that?

    Students can share their pictures with partners. Select a few students to share their pictures and writings with the class. Keep discussion focused and on topic.


In the next few days we are going to think about, ‘What makes us special.’ The first thing we’ll think about is how we feel about ourselves and why we feel that way.

  • Tell students that the class will be learning about what makes each of us special.