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Westerly High School Library: Grades 9-10

Wonder/Connect, Question/Focus, Investigate/Learn, Prepare/Analyze/Synthesize, Express/Create/Communicate, Reflect/Assess

Grade 9-10 Priority Skills

The information and inquiry skills required for independent and in-depth learning:


  • Identifies key words, concepts, and synonyms, both stated and implied, for topic and uses them to further research.
  • Develops a schema or mind map to express the big idea and the relationships among supporting ideas and topics of interest.
  • Develops and refines the topic, problem, or questions independently to arrive at a worthy and manageable topic for inquiry.


  • Refines questions to provide a framework for the inquiry and to fulfill the purpose of the research (e.g., questions to lead to historical context and interpretation; questions to elicit accurate facts about scientific problem or issue).
  • Plans inquiry to test hypothesis systematically or gather evidence to validate thesis.



  • Uses the organizational features of a book as well as abstracts, tables, charts, and first and last chapters to locate main ideas, specific supporting evidence, and a balanced perspective.
  • Uses advanced searching strategies (Boolean operators, truncation, domain and format filters, analysis of URLs, relational searching) to broaden and narrow searches and locate appropriate resources.
  • Evaluates the authority of a source by assessing the credentials and reputation of the author, creator or publisher, date of publication, and length or comprehensiveness.


  • Evaluates and selects evidence from multiple sources based on relevance and usefulness to answer research questions, currency, authority, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and point of view.
  • Evaluates digital information for authority, credibility, accuracy, comprehensiveness, point of view, and bias.
  • Analyzes the impact of point of view, perspective, and purpose of the information provided by a source.

Making Sense of Information and Notetaking

  • Questions and challenges the text while reading or viewing to ensure comprehension and validation of accuracy and authority during the process of gathering information.
  • Takes notes using one or more of a variety of notetaking strategies including reflecting on the information (e.g., graphic organizers, two-column notes, concept maps).


  • Organizes information independently, deciding the structure based based on the relationships among ideas and general patterns discovered.
  • Draws clear and appropriate conclusions supported by evidence and examples.


  • Creates a product and presentation to present an argument, claim, point of view, interpretation, or new model most effectively for a specific audience.
  • Cites all sources used according to standard style formats.
  • Embeds citations to specific information, visuals, or sound when appropriate.


  The ESIFC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Inquiry Cycle

Adapted from the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum