The inquiry question for this grade 6 students project was unusual. The first part – “how did the Natives assist the British?” – asks for a straightforward account that might involve only a summary of readily available sources. However, the second part – would the British have lost without the Native help – requires considerable knowledge, realistic interpretation, and imagination to answer well.
Criteria for a thoughtful answer should include plausibility (is the answer supported by a realistic consideration of possible factors?) and comprehensiveness (are all important factors, groups and individuals considered), and the use of evidence and sound reasoning. It sounds daunting, but students often love “what if?” questions like these and they are a great way to explore the concepts of cause and consequence.