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Books to Spark Inquiry and Design Thinking

Twice a month, we invite an educator to share their perspective on essential books for your classroom. To apply to become a contributor, please send us an email!


This year, students in the library at my school have been focused on using design thinking as a framework for inquiry and STEAM projects. The design thinking process takes the learner through five non-linear stages: empathize (to understand the user or who we need to solve a problem for), define (to narrow down the problem we want to solve), ideate (to brainstorm solutions), prototype (to create a model or plan), and test (to determine if the solution works). Because several iterations are often necessary, students build resilience and learn how to fail forward. Design thinking can take students to many different end results: a tangible product or invention, a virtual design, or a campaign to raise awareness. Integrating the Global Goals for Sustainable Development can not only make the learning more authentic, but also foster global citizenship. The following fantastic titles can launch inquiry and design thinking in relation to some of these goals.

Global Goal #1: No Poverty

On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty by Dr. Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap, illustrated by Jane Heinrichs introduces seve …

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