Thursday, November 21, 2013

Online Research

Some of my favorite information literacy skills lessons to teach are about online research.  It's an important skill to develop and it's never too early to start.  I cover online research with third, fourth and fifth graders beginning in October because October is Cyber Safety month and it fits nicely in that arena. This year, I broke it up into three different lessons:  1) Surfing the 'Net for Information 2) Evaluating and Citing Your Sources and 3) Note Taking.

 Here are some of the PowerPoints I used for those lessons:

You can get a copy of these PowerPoints by clicking HERE or on the picture above.

I also handout an information sheet that contains website address and information on evaluating websites to go along with our lessons.  I encourage students to keep these at home near their computer to refer to.  This is included in the research pack above with the PowerPoints.  You can get a copy of the pack by clicking HERE.  If you just want a copy of the handout, click HERE or on the picture above.

To help students practice evaluating websites, we take a look at a couple of different hoax websites and go through the process of evaluating the AUTHOR, AUDIENCE, CONTENT, and CURRENCY.  There are tons of hoax websites out there; some are really hilarious and some are very realistic.  Here are some of my favorites:

All About Explorers
Help Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
Dihydrogen Monoxide

To review what we've learned, I made a quick puzzle game that students could work on in teams. The team that completed putting their puzzles together first won a prize.  Another variation would be to give each team only the answer side of each puzzle and call out the question.  Have teams race to be the first to match it with the question puzzle piece...maybe project that piece on an interactive whiteboard.  You can get a copy of that review puzzle game HERE or by clicking on the picture above. The game is also included in the research pack with the 2 PowerPoints and the research handout.  You can get that pack by clicking HERE.

I am working on creating a note taking lesson to use during the first week of December. I've found some good stuff out there, but nothing that fits my needs exactly, so I will be putting something together over the next few days.  I hope to have it finished before the break so that I can actually enjoy the break.

Update:  I finally got around to making a note taking lesson and activity.  You can grab it for free HERE.

Do you have any fun ideas for teaching online research to elementary students?


  1. These are awesome resources to use, so much thought put into it. I'm a librarian and would definitely use these in my library classes. Thank you!