How do writers write? Where do they get their ideas? How do they decide what to take from their real lives or when to draw on their imaginations? Consider this quote from Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried:
“I feel guilty sometimes. Forty-three years old and I'm still writing war stories. My daughter Kathleen tells me it's an obsession, that I should write about a little girl who finds a million dollars and spends it all on a Shetland pony. In a way, I guess, she's right: I should forget it. But the thing about remembering is that you don't forget. You take your material where you find it, which is your life, at the intersection of past and present. The memory-traffic feeds into a rotary up on your head, where it goes in circles for a while, then pretty soon imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets. As a writer, all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come. That's the real obsession. All those stories.” (p. 33)
We're using a process called Guided Inquiry Design. Here's a cool graphic and some definitions.
Graphics and definitions are from:
Kuhlthau, Carol C., Leslie K. Maniotes and Ann K. Caspari. Guided Inquiry: A framework for your school. ABC-CLIO, 2012.
For more information about guided inquiry design, visit the GID website.