Research Skills
Why teach research skills?
  • Research skills are necessary because students are so used to just Googling to find answers to their questions. As they get older the answers are not just facts, they actually have to know how to research so they can use higher order thinking skills.
  • For more efficient, time-respectful searching - more concise
  • So students learn good search strategies (keywords, boolean searches)
  • Can find the most 'good' information in the least amount of time

What aspects of research are the most important to teach?

  • Crap detection
  • Copyright/plagiarism
  • validity of the information
  • How to read a webpage
  • Source Citing
  • Digital notecards
  • wayback machine (
  • who links to the page
  • how to read a url (go back to the root of the url)
  • Advanced search tools
  • Root Zone Database
  • Domain identification
  • Website types/purpose of website (.com, .org, .edu, .net) <--although anyone can buy those domains these days
  • If you didn't create it - you don't own it - Cite Your Work

What role does research have in a computer lab class?
  • A lab situation allows a lot of students to do research at one time
  • Also allows the teacher to model good practices and give the students hands-on experience in real time
  • The computer lab allows for a consistent teaching of research skills
  • Should be taught in conjunction with the librarian

At what age should research skills be taught? What should they learn?
  • I have done "guided" research with 3rd graders--they have a worksheet and I have created a PowerPoint with active links to appropriate websites for topic and readability
  • They need to learn how to read the page in order to find necessary information
  • 3-4 grade should be learning how to complete simple research tasks online and identifying obvious false information
  • Kindergarten age appropriate

What are some suggested research tools? With which ages should they be used?


  • Advanced Searching in Google:

  • More info on advance searching in Google
  • Search Education lessons developed by Google Certified Teachers. The lessons are short, modular and not specific to any discipline so you can mix and match to what best fits the needs of your classroom. Additionally, all lessons come with a companion set of slides (and some with additional resources) to help you guide your in-class discussions.
  • Dictionary
  • Encyclopedia

Fake Sites

Group 1: DiHydrogen Monoxide Awareness

Group 2: Music Faun

Group 3: Furnetics

Group 4: Petrol Direct

Group 5: Save the NW Tree Octopus

3a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry
3b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
3c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks