Responsible Researchers

For a long time now I have promoted the use of Google search for students of any age. Why? Because it isn’t going anywhere and instead of fearing the things that students can find, we need to teach them how to use the search engine responsibly.  What a great teaching moment for something possibly inappropriate to appear in a Google search and for a child to have YOU standing there to support that finding and what to do next.  Students are going to use Google to search for information, so don’t we want to model, facilitate, and instruct with it wisely?

I have been working with a couple of 5th grade classrooms on finding reliable resources.  Here are our tricks and tips.

Reliable Resources: Things to Check

URL: org, gov, edu

Is it from a Reputable Institution? (museum, news media, expert, reputable organization)

Check 3 sites to confirm finding

Check the date of publication (bottom or top of site)

Check bibliography- Are sources cited?

Check author-Google search to see who they are

I talk about the things to check when researching online and model how to find them via Apple TV and then the students log into their GoogleDrive accounts.  Once we are there we go to the research tool and talk about filtering our search.  Then the students start to search for 3 resources and use the citation tool to cite student sources.  When they are done they share their document with me and I post this rubric on it (see below).  I will be updating the rubric based on a reflection I had while planning this same set of lessons with another class. Instead of writing a paragraph, the students in this class are going to target a specific audience and create ways to teach the information they are learning to others.

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After students read and write down key information I have been showing them this YouTube video about mind mapping and how it helps our brain synthesize information. The thing I love about mind mapping is that it provides an opportunity for multiple modes of thinking to be seen on paper.  Below you will see some example mind maps that our students created.

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 After talking with the classroom teacher we decided his class would create books or presentations for their second grade buddies.  It works out perfectly that second grade has standards that also align with 5th grade.  I love it when a plan comes together!!  This is the synthesizing presentation I used with the students.


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