Sometimes as teachers we are presented with topics that are unfamiliar to our students.
Trying to do an inquiry based learning assignment when there is a lack of student background knowledge is a problem.
There are a few things that you can do to build this background knowledge first before you dig in and let students explore.
Wonder Wall Provocation
Build some background knowledge for students by assembling a collection of photos or artifacts that are related to the big ideas that you intend to study.
Sometimes a series of photos will help students relate to ideas or topics that you will begin to study.
For some topics the news will be a good source of information to help students think of ideas. They can read and share about a topic that interests them.