Research Building Blocks: Examining Electronic Sources

Children are naturally curious#151;they want to know "how" and "why." Teaching research skills can help students find answers for themselves. "Examining Electronic Sources," taken from a research skills unit, is a step towards students completing a written report. Students first look at examples of a Website that offers relevant resources, as well as a Website with less useful resources. Then, on their own they identify resources they think would be beneficial in their research and others that would not. As a group, students discuss the criteria they used in selecting or discounting sources. They then create a checklist to guide their future searches. Finally, students find another site they think might be beneficial and evaluate the site using the class-created checklist. This web resource helps students to evaluate and compare Internet resources as they conduct research.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.5
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9
Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.10
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2
Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7
Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • use an organizational system to locate information.
  • analyze information for a project.
  • determine the accuracy, currency, and reliability of materials from various sources.
  • identify appropriate resources to solve problems or answer questions through research.
  • choose and analyze information sources for individual, academic and functional purposes.
  • discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information.
  • select and organize information from various sources for a specific purpose.
     

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Analyzing
Extension suggestions: 

Have the students practice searching for information on the Web doing a State Scavenger Hunt. [Note: This hunt is for the state of Illinois, but the Yahoo site mentioned covers all fifty states.]

Helpful Hints

Printouts:

  • Examining Electronic Sources

Websites:

  • Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids
  • Illinois State Government Investigation
  • Kid Safe Search Sites
  • Merriam-Webster OnLine
  • Research Building Blocks: Hints about Print

References

Contributors: