Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, STEM

First Advisor

Mary Hedenstrom




This action research project studied the effects of inquiry-based activities on content vocabulary retention in a fourth-grade science classroom in central Minnesota at a rural elementary school. Content vocabulary words specific to the rocks and minerals unit were introduced to students through the use of four different strategies, Time to Talk, Text Cards, Word Bank, and Graphic Organizers. Students completed various hands-on inquiry-based activities during their science lessons one to two times per week throughout thirteen weeks. The research utilized qualitative and quantitative data collection research methods; findings show that all students can strengthen their content vocabulary knowledge and retention when they are able to interact with their peers and complete hands-on activities when learning content-specific vocabulary. Future research could explore the use of visual access to the content vocabulary when they are using the terms; this can be as an individual word bank, word wall, or a classroom word wall. This study shows that inquiry-based strategies promoted content vocabulary instruction, especially time to talk and word banks.

Included in

Education Commons