Children don't just "do" information, technology, and Internet. A inquiry or project-based learning environment involves wondering about a topic, wiggling through information, and weaving elements together. Each student learns and expresses themselves in a unique way.
This model was developed by Annette Lamb in the early 1990s. It was published in the book Surfin' the Web: Project Ideas from A to Z by Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson, and Nancy Smith in 1997 and in an article called Wondering Wiggling, and Weaving: A New Model for Project and Community Based Learning on the Web (Learning and Leading With Technology, 1997, 24(7), 6-13).
Read Wondering, Wiggling, and Weaving: A New Model for Project and Community Based Learning on the Web (PDF) by Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson, and Nancy Smith (Learning and Leading With Technology, 1997, 24(7), 6-13).
The model is similar to the work of Eisenberg, McKenzie, Kuhlthau, Pappas and Tepe. However, a fun alliteration was used to stimulate student interest and focus on the student's perspective. You're probably familiar with the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, and why), here are 8 new ones. You can view a print version of the 8Ws model using the PDF file.
Explore each of the 8W's. Click on the link for each of the Ws below to read about about this aspect of inquiry.
- Watching (Exploring) asks students to explore and become observers of their environment. It asks students to become more in tune to the world around them from family needs to global concerns.
- Wondering (Questioning) focuses on brainstorming options, discussing ideas, identifying problems, and developing questions.
- Webbing (Searching) directs students to locate, search for, and connect ideas and information. One piece of information may lead to new questions and areas of interest. Students select those resources that are relevant and organize them into meaningful clusters.
- Wiggling (Evaluating) is often the toughest phase for students. They're often uncertain about what they've found and where they're going with a project. Wiggling involves evaluating content, along with twisting and turning information looking for clues, ideas, and perspectives.
- Weaving (Synthesizing) consists of organizing ideas, creating models, and formulating plans. It focuses on the application, analysis, and synthesis of information.
- Wrapping (Creating) involves creating and packaging ideas and solutions. Why is this important? Who needs to know about this? How can I effectively convey my ideas to others? Many packages get wrapped and rewrapped before they're given away.
- Waving (Communicating) is communicating ideas to others through presenting, publishing, and sharing. Students share their ideas, try out new approaches, and ask for feedback.
- Wishing (Assessing) is assessing, evaluating, and reflecting on the process and product. Students begin thinking about how the project went and consider possibilities for the future.