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Updated Edition of Bestseller

Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?

Teaching for Inquiry, K-8
Second Edition
By: John F. Barell
This new edition, aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, features K–8 examples, information on technology, and new and updated activities, templates, and tools.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506323657
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Teaching Essentials
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 288
  • Publication date: March 03, 2016

Price: $34.95

Price: $34.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



Turn natural curiosity into deep, lasting learnings!

Inquiry is what drives us all toward new knowledge, but how do we transform children’s natural ability to notice and wonder into the full learning cycle of observing, thinking, and critically questioning?

Through this new edition of the bestselling Why Are School Buses Always Yellow? you’ll find simple, yet systematic ways to develop authentic student inquiry that fosters deep learning. This new edition features:

  • Updates based on the latest research around inquiry-based teaching
  • Emphasis on turning inquiry into critical thinking, assessing students’ inquiry, and involving families in the inquiry process
  • Examples for K–8 across subject areas
  • New emphasis on critical thinking about technologies
  • New and updated activities, checklists, templates, and implementation tools
  • Alignment with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

With this invaluable resource, help students transform their playful wonderings into deeper questions about content—and develop the higher-level thinking skills they need for success in school and in life.

"Educators often talk about developing lifelong learners - our team has had great success using Why Are School Buses Always Yellow? to catalyze professional conversations about how we can better cultivate curiosity through an inquiry approach. I strongly recommend this [new edition] for those who are interested in unlocking the uniquely creative capacity of our youngest learners."
Devin Vodicka, Superintendent
Vista Unified School District, Vista, CA

Key features

  • Provides processes and prompts to empower children to frame good questions about content and search for answers
  • Incorporates evaluation of Internet sources and other information
  • Shows examples across K-8 levels in all subject areas
  • Highlights inquiry entry points using objects, literature, lived experiences, media accounts—any kind of object and situation students experience
  • Incorporates examples from schools across the country

New to the second edition:

  • Updated to reflect the newest research.
  • New stories and examples, broadened to grades K through 8.
  • Discussion and alignment of the inquiry process with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • New chapter on how to use technology to pursue inquiry and also build professional practice
  • Each chapters has new "Try this!" activities, new graphics, and updated checklists, templates, reflection questions with room for notetaking, a glossary of key terms, and other implementation tools


John F. Barell photo

John F. Barell

Learn more about John Barell's PD offerings

John Barell is Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Teaching at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, and former public school teacher in New York City. For the past several years he has been a consultant for inquiry-based instruction and creation of science/social studies networks at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. For most of his educational career he has worked with schools nationally to foster inquiry, problem-based learning, critical thinking, and reflection. Barell is the author of several books, including Teaching for Thoughtfulness: Strategies to Enhance Intellectual Development (1995, 2nd ed.) and Developing More Curious Minds (2003).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. “What’s Wondering Got to Do With It?”: An Overview of Inquiry

Chapter 2. “This Is Better Than Recess!”: Why Inquiry Is Important

Chapter 3. “How Do We Begin?”: Modeling Our Inquisitiveness

Chapter 4. “How Do We Build Inquiry Into Our Classrooms?”: Initiating Inquiry With Problematic Scenarios

Chapter 5. “When Is It Chaos?”: Developing and Refining Units of Instruction

Chapter 6. “Why Are Mountains Necessary?”: The Nature of Good Questions

Chapter 7. “How Do We Know They Understand?”: Performing Our Understandings

Chapter 8. “How Do We Integrate Technology?”: From Crystal Radios to “Explain Everything”

Chapter 9. “How Do We Involve Families in Our Inquiries?”: Encouraging All to Help

Chapter 10. “We Don’t Learn That Way”: Inquiry and Students With Special Needs

Chapter 11. “How Do We Effect Change in Our Classrooms?”: Positive Professional Development


Appendix: Templates






Price: $34.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.