Add Some Inquiry to Your Learning Targets

Add inquiry to your learning targets to get your students more excited and engaged in their learning!
  • Keep reading to find out how adding inquiry to your learning targets can be a powerful tool to get your students engaged and excited about what they are learning.

For years I have approached learning targets with my students the same way. We look at the target and the attached Marzano scale (CLICK HERE to learn more about Marzano scales), then we start learning. It works great, but I thought I could do a bit more with it, so I added some inquiry…


  • The set up is very simple. All you need is to project (or write) your learning target on the board.



  1. Once class starts, direct your students to read the learning target.
  2. Rephrase the target as a question (EX: “I can identify what caused the Fall of Rome” becomes, “What do you guys think may have caused the Fall of Rome?”
  3. Clarify definitions (EX: “Fall of Rome” means the collapse or end of the Roman Empire).
  4. Give your groups of students 30 – 40 seconds to discuss the question and come up with potential hypotheses.
  5. Once the allotted time has elapsed, ask for volunteers to share out some of their hypotheses.
  6. Ask some probing or clarifying questions to understand what they might be thinking or to clear up any misconceptions.
  7. Record their hypotheses on the board and leave them until the end of the lesson.
  8. Commence your lesson as normal.
  9. At the end of the lesson, revisit their hypotheses and as a class, determine which were correct, incorrect or partially correct and briefly discuss why.



  • Your students will get engaged and excited about what they’re learning.
  • Your students will pay closer attention to see if their hypothesis is correct (their little “yes!” while you are teaching is a fun side bonus).



This inquiry concept can easily be adapted to the introduction of a whole unit, not just a daily lesson. Also, if you are looking for more ways to add inquiry to your teaching, CLICK HERE for some great inquiry based resources.

Add inquiry to your learning targets to get your students more excited and engaged in their learning!