Private Whys?

Private Whys? is an integrated discovery unit tied to national standards and prepared by educators for educators. An interdisciplinary program, Private Whys? makes teaching and learning fun for grades three through six.

Private Whys? uses the theme of private investigation to gain students' interest, provide challenges, and create a sense of intrigue, all of which set the stage for the use of problem solving skills.

Download this presentation [PPT - 243Kb] for an explanation of the why behind Private Whys?, and this one to see teachers in action [PPT - 14Mb].

Play a video below to hear the program's creator, Ruthanne "Rudi" Thompson, EdD, teacher, during a training session at St. Aloysius RC School in Harlem, New York.

The Private Whys? discovery unit creates a fun and imaginative way to engage learners of all ages in the process of asking questions, following clues, gathering facts and studying evidence in order to find solutions to problems. Both the National Science Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association recommend this inquiry-based methodology as the preferred means of engaging students in real-world scenarios and authentic decision-making. The world of private investigation was chosen in this case because, like scientists, private investigators ask “why” a lot. Private investigators gather evidence and facts about a case and answer questions by following clues. Like great scientists and problem-solvers throughout history, private investigators make discovery after discovery.

Today's world is full of information, tomorrow's will be even more so. Private Whys? introduces young students to inquiry-based techniques that will help them sift through data throughout their lives.

So, we ask: Do you, your students or team have what it takes to be investigators? Can they follow a case from beginning to end, accepting the fact that as one discovery is made, one question answered, another may spring up?

Now, your students can start on the exciting journey to join the Private Whys? Investigation Agency.

Let the fun begin!