Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 9 months 6 days ago

During Phase 0, I chose end and beginning of life rituals as my inquiry project topic. In Phase 1 I will be gathering information and developing questions to support my research for my inquiry project.

In order to compose new questions to support what I already know and assist me in gathering new information, It is vital to identify my prior knowledge of life and death rituals. The majority of my knowledge of my topic, beginning and end of life rituals, has come from the topic descriptor page and Vincent C.'s final product. End of life rituals in Xizhou include tombstone making, casket making, and spiritual traditions. In a comment on Phase 0, my teacher mentioned that the majority of the population of Xizhou practices Islam, this leads me to believe that most of Xizhou's traditions comply with the Muslim faith. The two main ethnic groups living in Xizhou are the Bai and the Hui. These groups could have different rituals for death and birth. When looking at Vincent C.'s final product, I learned more about the significance of casket colors, how the Bai mourn, as well as how the Bai people decorate their houses to honor a passed family member.

In addition to identifying my prior knowledge, it is equally important to understand what I should learn more about. To begin with, I would like to deepen my understanding of the traditions associated with the beginning of life in Xizhou. There have been no inquiry projects on this topic so far, so I will have to gather more information on this. I want to learn about how traditions differ depending on ethnic groups and some background behind these traditions. Addiotionally, I will ask my parents about traditions that they have partaken in to celebrate life or death, their views on life and death and how their culture has shaped these views. I would also like to know more about the topics that I read about in the topic descriptor page and alumni projects such as casket making, tombstone making, and mourning (or potentially celebration for the beginning of life.)

I did some background research on birth traditions in China and Islam so that I can have a better grasp of my topic. I will be continuing this research in Phase 3 .


I'm thirteen years old and I was born in America, but I've been in Shanghai for eight years. I'm very excited to go to Xizhou and experience what life is like there while using Chinese to interact with the people there. I can't wait to start my inquiry project and participate in learning in a new environment.