Imagine a box of artifacts for students to use during research.
Teachers (and school librarians) can collect artifacts to activate and support student inquiry. For a research unit on India, students can observe a multitude of artifacts such as a flag, map, or currency. For example, as students examine a flag from India, they might observe and wonder the meaning behind the saffron, white, and green colors. They might also wonder the story about the wheel, or chakra, in the flag's center. Better yet, students could also tap into prior knowledge and make connections to the meaning of our own red,white and blue in the American flag.
As students generate their own questions, the teacher/librarian can record them for further work. Student-generated questions might result in deeper inquiry because the students feel more ownership of their own questions.
Image source: http://www.wpclipart.com/money/treasure/treasure_chest_3.png.html