Graphic Inquiry

by Annette Lamb and Daniel Callison


We live in a high-tech, multimedia world, and it's documented that many young people respond constructively to graphic communication, yet most of our classroom activities still only emphasize text communication. Even inquiry-based approaches to learning often stress writing lists of answers, reading texts, and writing papers. The potential of graphic inquiry in teaching and learning warrants greater exploration at all age levels.

Print Flyer

May 2012

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 270
Volumes 1
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Inquiry Learning and Process, K-12
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This full-color book provides a practical approach to incorporating graphic inquiry across the curriculum for school library media specialists, technology coordinators, and classroom teachers.

It's new. It's graphic. And it is the first of its kind. Designed to bridge theory and actual practice, Graphic Inquiry contains applications for new and practicing educators and librarians that can truly bring classroom learning into the 21st century. This visually rich book provides numerous, standards-based inquiry activities and projects that incorporate traditional materials as well as emerging social and collaborative technologies.

This full-color book provides real-world strategies for integrating graphic inquiry across the curriculum and is specifically designed to help today's educators identify tools and techniques for using graphic inquiry with their students. Although research is cited and references are provided, lengthy text passages are avoided in favor of practical, visual examples rooted in best practice and presented in graphic format. Readers will view this book as a quick reference to timely, realistic activities and approaches as compared to a traditional textbook.


  • Dozens of references and virtual links to associated resources
Author Info

Annette Lamb has been a school library media specialist, computer teacher, and professor of education and library science. She is currently professor at Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, teaching online graduate courses for librarians and educators.

Daniel Callison is professor and dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and has served as library media specialist for a high school program recognized nationally by the American Association of Secondary School Principals. He was director of the school library media masters program at Indiana University (IU), ranked among the top ten nationally since 1990, and is founding editor of School Library Media Research, the online reference research journal of the American Association of School Librarians.

Topic Centers



Section 1: Graphic Literacy, Fluency, Inquiry, and Life-long Learning

Graphic Literacy
Graphic Fluency
Graphic Inquiry
Graphic and Life-long Learning

Section 2: Types of Graphics

Charts and Graphs

Section 3: SCORE IT! Standards and Deep Thinking


Section 4: Skills and Strategies

Reading and Comprehending Graphics
Analyzing and Interpreting Graphics
Using and Applying Graphics
Designing and Creating Graphics

Section 5: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Individual Differences

Primary Sources in Learning
Data Collection and Use in Learning
Photos in Learning
Maps in Learning
Info Graphics and Organizers in Learning
Comics in Learning
Literature and Visual Thinking

Section 6: Graphic Inquiry and the 21st Century Learner


Section 7: Learning through Graphic Inquiry

Graphics and Object-based Inquiry
Graphics and Place-based Learning
Community, Collaboration, and Authentic Learning
Inquiry, Innovation, and Illuminated Term Papers
Issues in Graphic Inquiry

Image Credits



"This book is full of information, tips, and ideas for using graphics (charts, graphic organizers, photos, diagrams, graphs) to teach and present. . . . This professional resource will prove to be helpful when collaborating with teachers and creating lessons that align with Common Core Standards."—Library Media Connection

"Authored by two professors of education and library science and former library media specialists, this work is filled with examples and ideas to implement across the curriculum. Presented in a graphic manner, with colorful images and glossy paper, this book is an example of nontraditional presentation of materials, which is apropos to the content. . . . The content is very valuable, drawing on research and experience, tying the practical and the theoretical together seamlessly."—ARBA

"The book is fun! You will absorb content quickly and find new ways to bring graphics into your teaching and student learning."—School Librarian's Workshop

"This is an amazing book! These two scholars have built a fresh approach to the use of the graphic arts to teach an inquiry method of learning through pictorial representations. This book is an important contribution to what we would usually term as information literacy but in another dimension. . . . This is simply the best book on using visuals in education we have seen. Well-done, practical, useful, creative, thoughtful, and filled with possibility for great new advances in teaching and learning—those are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind. This is the best of the crop we have seen in a long time. Congratulations to the authors, and a well-deserved must-read, must-own, must-use recommendation from this reviewer."—David Loertscher, Teacher Librarian Magazine

Other Titles of Interest

Thematic Inquiry through Fiction and Non-Fiction - PreK to Grade 6 cover imageInquiry Learning Through Librarian-Teacher Partnerships cover imageCollaborating for Inquiry-Based Learning cover image
Guided Research in Middle School cover imageA Guided Inquiry Approach to High School Research cover imageGuided Inquiry cover image

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