Open Inquiry Project: Week 1

This week I began to get some skeleton bones onto an otherwise lofty open inquiry project vision. I have committed to studying one side of my family’s genealogy, history (including their settlement to Canada), the impact this has on me today, and how I can carry parts of my family’s culture on to pass onto the next generation. This project is important to me because I feel it’s important for everyone to understand where they have come from in relation to family blood line, culture, country, and religion. I think part of the reason why understanding my family background is so important is me comes from understanding that history has a tendency to repeat itself, and if I can learn from the successes and mistakes of my ancestors, I think the next generation will appreciate and hopefully benefit from it.

Being a visionally-minded individual, putting some bones onto this vision was a bit of a challenge. However, I’m grateful for tools such as “inquiry flowcharts” such as the one provided by the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry website ( After discovering that actually carrying out this project would be possible given the access to information I have, I went straight to this tool, and created a bit of a brainstorm of my own based upon the “inquiry flowchart”.

Photo by Bethany Verwoerd / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

(Please pardon the roughness of this brainstorm. It was not intended to be perfect.)

Credit goes to Any Software Tools (, whose website directed me to download the Skitch app to pixelate my image. I don’t have a lot of experience with editing photos, but this was a very easy app to use. I highly recommend it for anyone else who may be looking to pixelate a document or picture in the future!

As seen in the above image, I developed a rough Learning Plan for my project in the brainstorming process as well. My aim is that each week of this project will begin on Tuesday after classes, and end the following Monday night with a blog post summarizing the information I have gathered throughout the week.

Next week, I will post what I have discovered about my great-great grandparents on both my Grandma and Grandpa’s sides of the family. The following week I will dig into my great-grandparents’ history (again, considering both my Grandma and Grandpa’s sides of the family). I will finish of my set of three weeks studying the lives of my grandparents, both, unfortunately, are no longer with us. This is another reason why I want to study my family; I want to glean all the information I can about my family as I can before it gets lost. Time is of the essence in projects such as this.

I’m choosing to study just until the fifth generation back because I am hoping that it will be the generation that immigrated to Canada. However, if I have to backtrack even further, I am willing (and excited) to do so. This project, I feel, may take its own turns and I may have to adapt my learning plan as I follow the turns the project takes.

Back to the practical side of the project, at the end of the three weeks I hope to have created a digital family tree on a website such as Prezi or an alternate family-tree-creating website or app. This will be included in my blog post as well.

I’ve already begun looking into resources I can use for this project, and getting family members on board with helping me locate these resources. There is actually a bit more information in family-created history books and online about my family’s history than I thought, which I’m happy about. Overall, I’m growing more excited for this project and to share my learnings here.

Thank you for joining me in this journey!


One thought on “Open Inquiry Project: Week 1

  1. Pingback: Reflection on PSII Visit – Bethany's Bookish Blog

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