Expert 21
Reading, Writing + Thinking for the 21st Century  [Grades 6-9]
Program Overview > The The Arc of Inquiry
Explore the Expert Question
Build Background Knowledge and Establish
a Reason to Read
Expert 21 utilizes several powerful strategies for engaging students in text before they begin reading. Every workshop begins with an Expert Question, which connects with students′ lives and asks students to explain, explore, and elaborate upon what they know. Expert 21 uses anchoring, a proven strategy for building knowledge, to help students create mental models to aid in text comprehension. Students also meet an expert, which sparks ideas about future career opportunities.

Anchor Video
Each workshop starts with an anchor video that provides an introduction to the expert as well as a preview of the workshop readings. These videos provide background knowledge that will improve comprehension.

Meet the Expert
In both the Anchor Media and the 21Book, students are invited to meet an expert. The experts work in jobs that require them to apply the skills being taught in the workshop.

Careers and College Readiness
Expert profiles include information students want to know: the expert′s salary, average hours worked per day, and their level of education. Each expert is also linked to the U.S. Department of Labor′s career clusters.

Expert Question
The Expert Question connects students to real-world expertise and establishes a relevant, meaningful reason to read. It helps students understand why they are learning, as everything taught in a unit is in the service of the investigating the question.
Inquiry, Motivation, and Engagement
Boise State University
Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm has been studying the impact of motivation on the acquisition of literacy skills in adolescents for over 25 years. His research has catalyzed a national conversation on the importance of inquiry. Specifically, what kind of question can motivate students to engage with text in a deep way? Dr. Wilhelm has found that all students need to begin with a question that has relevance to "real" life and connects to their interests. Because of the critical role they play, Dr. Wilhelm personally crafted all the Expert Questions in Expert 21, drawing on the very practices observed over two decades of research.
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