The TELSTAR model of inquiry is just one of many models that can be used in the guided inquiry process. In order to prevent students from confusion it is preferable to teach one model. The TELSTAR model allows the teacher and students to use simple language and an acronym to represent the phases of inquiry. Each inquiry phase will vary length and should not be rushed. The first phase is very important as it is where the students will construct their meaning and share current undestandings. As student's conduct an inquiry, they develop metacognitive capabilities as to how they learn about their own thinking and learning. The reflective phase of the inquiry is important as students reflect on their new understandings. In order for inquiry to become a habit of mind, it is imperative that students be made aware of the phases they are working through. (Education Queensland, 2012)

Student Focus Question Inquiry Steps Control Check/Questions
  • What is the topic/issue?
  • Why should we study the topic/issue?
Tune In
  • How does this affect me? What concepts?
  • What is the Key Question?
  • What do I know/feel about this topic?
  • What are other people's views?
  • What questions do I have?
(to prepare for learning)
  • Explore (1) prior knowledge, values, viewpoints, (2) questions, methods, skills, outcomes.
  • Reflect: should I change the questions?
  • What do we want to find out?
  • How will we gather the information?
  • What skills/resources/strategies do we need?
  • Look for and organise information
  • Do I need to learn some new skills?
  • Is there enough information collected? (R)
  • How might we sort our information?
  • What thinking skills/strategies do I need?
  • What connections can we make?
  • Sort the information using thinking skills
  • Is it accurate, biased, relevant, worth using? (R)
  • What conclusions can we draw?
  • What evidence supports them?
  • What might we do with our findings?
  • Does this answer the Key Question sufficiently? (R)
  • What are the implications of our findings?
  • How can we decide? What values will we base our decisions on?
  • What actions could we take as a result of our findings?
  • Do I understand the range of actions that could be taken? Are they practical?
  • What have we learned and how do we feel about the topic now?
  • How have my skills improved?
  • How could the inquiry have been improved?

(R) = Reflection points. It may be necessary to return to a previous step.

Poll created using PollDaddy

(Table from Schultz, J. (2011). SOSEAQ An Integrated Learning Community - SOSE Inquiry. Retrived April 7, 2012 from