Teacher Resources
Discover new resources and events.

Getting Started
Find out about Iowa Pathways and how this exciting new resource can be used in your classroom!

Using the Quest and Challenges
These tips and downloads help students develop research skills through investigation and inquiry.

Literacy and Engagement
Find out how this project supports investigative research, vocabulary acquisition, and content fluency.

Recommended Teacher Resources
Discover other great Iowa resources, including online archives, primary resources, local history, field trips, and more.

Literacy and Engagement


Iowa Pathways introduces research-based learning strategies with a framework for increasing student engagement through:

  • Confidence-building
  • Meaningful choices
  • Relevant, interesting texts

Specific literacy strategies addressed in the project support investigative research, vocabulary acquisition and content fluency strategies. Embedded coaching tips and purposeful tools assist students in making meaning of their online experience and support metacognition, strategic reading, and historical thinking.

What does Iowa Pathways offer for literacy and engagement?

  • Content-Specific Cues embedded in each My Path article contain:
    • Questions that promote thought
    • Statements and quotes that refer directly to the content of the text article
    • Connections between the article and the related concepts in the Pathways or Artifacts sections
  • Reading Tips embedded in many My Path articles consist of strategies for all content areas:
    • Pre-reading by skimming basic information and formulating questions
    • Reading for meaning by analyzing writer’s purpose and organization
    • Rereading and reviewing by asking questions and finding importance
    • Reflecting by considering relevancy, summarizing information, and using information
  • Investigation Tips embedded in many My Path articles encourage:
    • Investigating primary sources (news articles, journal entries, historical documents, and sheet music)
    • Analyzing timelines for place in history, sequence of events, cause and effect, and influences of present and future
    • Examining images for details about the past
    • Reading maps (looking for information in legends, comparing, evaluating and critiquing accuracy)
    • Developing investigative strategies (making connections, drawing conclusions, and developing new questions)
    • Creating a collaborative environment (telling others of discoveries, helping and being helped with investigation obstacles, and considering alternative approaches to tasks)
  • Navigation Tips embedded in many My Path articles include:
    • Reviewing basic organization to the site and the different sections of each page
    • Suggesting uses of project components such as search and the Quest to help accomplish investigative tasks
    • Reviewing standard navigation buttons, color and image cues for ease of managing the site’s information
    • Introducing major sections of each page such as Pathways, Artifacts, Side Trails and what each has to offer in the investigation process
    • Reminding students that they are on a pathway of discovery and what the available choices are offered
  • Vocabulary Strategies help students decode language into meaningful messages. Students launch the interactive glossary from key words within the feature articles. The glossary includes:
    • Definitions
    • A pronunciation key
    • Facts and examples related to the word
    • References for further investigation
  • Research support is in the form of tips for using primary sources, evaluating quality sources, search techniques, and investigation process of the Quest and Challenges.
    • Quests and Challenges assist students in the investigation process as they investigate topics and make meaningful connections to collect into a coherent picture of a story of Iowa. The process includes getting familiar with the site, choosing a topic, making meaningful connections with the content, and synthesizing the information.
    • The Quest and Challenge Trail Guides are specifically designed to reflect the pre-reading, reading for meaning, and reviewing and reflecting process. Students are guided through the process in a purposeful investigation of Iowa content.



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