IS-21 Logo Inquiry Strategies for the Information Society in the Twenty-First Century
EN | FR LTK+ Logo

What is IS-21?


Inquiry Strategies for the Information Society of the Twenty-First Century (IS-21) is an online tool created to help students develop their information literacy skills. It supports and guides students through the inquiry process. Our tool that helps students learn how to articulate an information need, effectively use Internet search tools, evaluate sources, and synthesize, integrate and use the information. These are vital skills needed for today's information society.

The IS-21 modules are linked to the CSLP-LEARN's electronic portfolio software called ePEARL, thereby enabling students to conduct their research within an environment that supports self-regulated learning.

To find out more, visit our promo page.

Lesson Plans

Inquiry Process Lesson Plans

These are designed to teach each of the information literacy sub-skills and are best used prior to having students complete a particular IS-21 step.

LEVEL 2 (Grades 5 or 6*)


Define & Brainstorm Big Question Little Questions
Keywords Synonym Considerations Synonyms
Search Strings Venn Diagrams Boolean Operators
Resources Reference Tools
Explore School Library
Select URLsBibliographic Information on Sites


Note Taking Paraphrase and Quote
Acknowledge Bibliographic Information
Produce Peer Evaluation

*These lessons may also be modified for younger or older students.

Thematic Units

LEVEL 2 (Grade 3 and 4)


LEVEL 2 (Grade 5 and 6)

Natural Disasters Unit (Grade 5)

Advertising Unit (Grade 6)


A general rubric for evaluating the information literacy process.

Job Aids & Classroom Resources

CRACR Posters

Each poster highlights one of five criteria used to evaluate sources. These posters can be hung up in the classroom and used as a quick reminder to students about what they should consider when they assess their sources.

Visual Organizers

These visual organizers can be used for brainstorming an idea, or for synthesizing the knowledge students have learned through their research.

KWL Chart

This is an alternative way that students can prepare before they research a topic.

Reflection Prompts

IS-21 contains some suggested reflection prompts for each of the phases. If you would like your students to delve deeper, here are additional reflection prompts for each of the steps.


Task Examples

Quick Tips

Here are instructions on how to create a desktop shortcut and change students' usernames and password.


The Inquiry Process

An Introduction to the Inquiry Process (2012)

This video provides an overview of the main components of the Inquiry Process (1 - Planning a Search Strategy, 2- Searching for Information and Evaluating Sources and 3 - Using the Information and Communicating a New Understanding), shows how the Inquiry Process can be applied to a personal need for information, such as selecting a new car; and reveals the benefits of using the Inquiry Process, including how this investment in time can be more efficient and successful in the long run. The production of this video was a collaborative effort between the CSLP, LEARN and the Information Literacy team, Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport.

Student-centered videos

LEVEL 2 (Grades 5-6)

These videos are found in the in-context help within IS-21. They are designed to provide just-in-time student support related to the key components of the inquiry process, and may also be used to foster whole class discussion.




  • Guided Mode (Coming Soon!)
  • Flexible Mode (Coming Soon!)

Additional Resources

External Resources

Below is a set of external web-based resources that are useful for the inquiry process.

Parent Resources

Parent Module
LTK+ Flyer for Parents

Internet Retrieval Tools

We recommend the following web-based tools. These directories, search engines and meta-search engines can help your students find relevant material to answer their Little Questions.

Curriculum Links

This document contains relevant information literacy curricula outcomes from all the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as the U.S. Common Core Standards. IS-21 steps are linked to the student outcomes for each IL sub-skill.

ePEARL Resources

We recommend using the IS-21 and ePEARL tools together. To access a comprehensive list of ePEARL Teacher resources please visit:

Teacher Guide

The IS-21 Teacher Guide provides basic technical and pedagogical information to help support the integration of IS-21 in late elementary/early secondary classrooms. The Guide provides a general overview of the features within the Student Module, with detailed descriptions provided for each step within the Inquiry process. Information includes: A brief explanation of the Purpose of a step, a Screen Capture that illustrates the step, instructional strategies through Teacher Tips, and finally Additional Resources, that provide links to further information on the particular Information Literacy sub-skill being addressed.

This Guide also provides an overview of the Teacher Module and the Parent Module

Because IS-21 is linked to ePEARL, an electronicportfolio which encourages self-regulated learning, teachers may also be interested in consulting the ePEARL Teacher Guide

The complete Learning Toolkit+ Teacher Guide is available for purchase.