Joanna Schimizzi
Engineering, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
9, 10, 11, 12
  • Collaboration
  • Inquiry
  • Literacy
  • SLMC
  • Stem
  • slmc
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    Text-based Inquiry Template for STEM lessons


    This template provides STEM educators and their School Media Specialists with a template and a structure for developing Text-based Inquiry units that address multiple content areas.

    Text-based Inquiry Template for STEM lessons

    This template provides an approach for creating a STEM investigation that includes text-based inquiry to build student STEM literacy skills. It is populated with examples and resources to support your authoring. The template was created to support library media specialists and STEM teacher cohorts in year two of the School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning project, led by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in partnership with Granite State University, New Hampshire, and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

    This template will be remixed by participants in the IMLS School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning project to build their own text-based STEM inquiry units. Other educators are invited to use this template. When remixing this template, be sure to remove all example language and add your own language in each section.

    Part I: Unit Title

    Insert your unit title in the title field, above.

    Part II: Background on LMS and Science Teacher Relationship:

    This lesson was created by Library Media Specialist (Letha Goger)  and Biology teacher (Joanna Schimizzi). Letha’s strengths were identified as text-based inquiry and she requested to see Joanna model teaching an inquiry lab. Joanna’s strengths were understanding science content and she requested to see Letha model student research strategies supported by text-based inquiry.

    Part III: Unit Description

    This unit includes ___ lessons that culminate in [students designing a scientific research proposal that examines the role of cellular organelles in diseases and treatment].

    Using inquiry-based reading, students will [explore an anchor text and then develop their own essential and supporting questions to guide their research].

    Over the course of the unit, students will [explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of cellular organelles and in their ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research].

    Part IV: Standards Addressed

    [Select content standard(s) and CCSS Science & Technical Literacy Standards that will be addressed. Include the text of the standard.]

    • NGSS/State Science Standards
    • CCSS Science Literacy Standards

    Part V: Unit Essential Question

    Should cellular structures be an increased focus of funding disease research?

    Part VI: Goals for Using Inquiry

    The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students [develop their own supporting research questions around cellular organelle function, select their own resources to use and determine their own solution to the research question]. The science teacher and the media library specialist have selected an anchor text about [the role of mitochondria in disease] and provided support for students [in a set of texts that will guide research around different organelles that contribute to disease.]

    Part VII: Summative Assessment Description and Rubric

    (The summative assessment should assess both science content and literacy skills.)

    Part VIII: Prior Knowledge Needed

    (This description should describe both science content and literacy skills that are addressed.)

    Part IX: Student Learning Objectives

    (The breakdown of the unit into discrete units of both science content and literacy skills.)

    1. The student will be able to identify cellular structures by reading and annotating an article about cellular toxins.

    2. The student will be able to analyze how cellular structures coordinate by applying information from the article about cellular toxins.

    3. The student will be able to evaluate a claim that cellular toxins can be used as therapies for disease by using evidence from the text.

    4. The student will be able to create a scientific research proposal by using textual evidence, data and precise details from the article to write a grant proposal.

    Part X: Text Set Description

    (Used by the teacher and media specialist as they analyze the purpose and goal of each text they provide to the students.)


    Text Title & Hyperlink

    Text Purpose
    (discuss complexity of the text
    along with its purpose/goal)

    Text-dependent Questions
    (created by the teacher/librarian
    to help students analyze the text)

    Accommodations for
    Diverse Learners


    ABC Text

    This is my Anchor Text, designed to provide science content about cellular organelles, while provoking student engagement around the essential question.

    The ATOS level of the text is 11.27, which is appropriate for the middle of a 10th grade year. Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of the Complexity.

    What question did the author seek to answer?

    How did she go about that?

    What is her primary claim?

    Did she provide specific evidence to support her claim?

    In your opinion, what is the strongest evidence she provides?

    Tier Two words will be chosen ahead of time and a definition will be added as footnotes to copies of the text.

    Specific chunks will be chosen ahead to support students in breaking the reading down into manageable sections.


    Supporting Text #1


    Does this article provide evidence that supports or contradicts that in the anchor text? How?

    Which data table is most effective at communicating the data collected by the researchers?


    Supporting Text #2



    Part XI: Suggested Lesson Breakdown/Pacing








     ×DayStudent Learning ObjectivesAligned Student Learning Task & Suggested TimingFormative AssessmentImportant Accommodations
     ×Day 1:One 90 minute block

    TSWBAT identify the functions of cell structures by reading an article about cellular toxins.

    1. Students read the cellular toxin article on their own using annotation strategies given by the (teacher/LMS).

    2. The (teacher/LMS) reads the article aloud, identifying important annotations.

    3. Students are given a handout (linked here) to help them identify the cellular components and their functions that are listed in the article.

    4. Students do a think-pair-share to write a sticky note with which cellular organelle was most clearly explained in the article. 

    1. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.

    2. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor student recording of teacher recommended annotations.

    3. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor progress to see if certain areas of the assignment are confusing. The teacher will collect the handout and give feedback before the next class period.

    4. The (teacher/LMS)  will randomly choose sticky notes to read aloud, tracking trends and noticing gaps or misconceptions.

    1. The (teacher/LMS) will provide the article ahead of time to students with high need.

    2. The (teacher/LMS) will provide a list of defined vocabulary for the student to use during the 2nd reading.



    Part XII: Student Work Examples

    Include examples of student work here.


    Part XIII: Teacher and LMS Reflection on the Implementation of the Lesson