Interactive Stories

Members of the Water Inquiry project create interactive, illustrated storybooks and accompanying unit materials that encourage young readers (K-3) to explore scientific questions while engaging in group discourse, field investigations, and inquiry-based problem solving. The primary goals of the stories and the companion lessons are to get students interacting with ideas about water, inquiry, and collaboration. Explore the links below to view/download our first story and teacher resources, including a slideshow of the story in action!

Introducing… Inquiry Inc. and the Case of the Missing Ducklings!

Inquiry Inc. and the Case of the Missing Ducklings
Our first story explores the topics of storm drains and weather patterns. A stormy day leads Anna, our protagonist, to find baby ducklings trapped in a storm drain. Together with “Inquiry Inc,” a cast of problem-solving characters, she works alongside eager readers to ask questions, formulate hypotheses, and fulfill the group’s motto: “Got a problem that won’t go away? Inquiry Inc. will save the day!”

Educator Toolkit, Inquiry Inc and the Case of the Missing Ducklings 
Our educator tool-kit includes inquiry activities (handouts, student work, and a suggested four class-period plan); a narrative overview of the project as piloted in a 1st grade classroom; pre- and post- assessment suggestions and materials; and alignment with NGSS Standards.

Teacher Resource for Making Student Thinking Visible
Student teacher and researcher Ruth Neils (’19) provides clear examples of strategies for making student thinking visible and assessing the development of student ideas. The document includes pre- and post- assessment activities; an evaluation rubric aligned with Next Generation Science Standards; and student work samples illustrating a progression of ideas about water, inquiry, and collaboration.

Teaching Inquiry, Inc. in a 3rd grade classroom
Student researcher Ruth Neils (’19) documents the learning of 3rd graders investigating Inquiry, Inc and the Case of the Missing Ducklings, highlighting extended opportunities for students to express their thinking through drawings, writing, and group discourse.


Why Do Stories Matter? Research and Resources for Narrative Learning
Water Inquiry stories and learning adventures are informed by contemporary research in the fields of narratology, psychology, and education. This PDF comprises a one-page review of the literature highlighting Kieran Egan and Kendall Haven, two experts in the “science of story” and powers of narrative learning; research is followed by a list of tools and texts for integrating narrative learning in the classroom.