Saturday, April 23, 2011

Locating Historical Information on the Internet

Session #2:
Locating Historical Information on the Internet

Overview: New literacies are defined around five major functions: Identifying important questions, locating information, analyzing information, synthesizing information, and communicating information (Leu, Zawilinski, Castek, Banerjee, Housand, Liu, & O’Neil). When using the Internet for research, it is important for students to question and generate ideas, develop searching and navigation strategies, and be able to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information they find on the Internet. This lesson teaches students research strategies that can be applied across content areas and in any unit.
Short term objectives:
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
 1. Find, evaluate, analyze and synthesize information on the Internet.
 2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media.  
Interactive Phase:
Activity #1: Introduction/Set- Focus Event: Ask students to do a quick write on their current progress with their family interviews.  
Activity #2: Locating Information: Model for students different searching techniques to help filter search results. Example: How does searching for a dog, differ from searching for a Saint Bernard? Once students have background information on their historical topic, they should try to answer specific questions when using a search engine rather than browse through broad topics. Example: How does searching for World War II differ from searching for a specific event like the  Japanese internment? Or, How does searching for the Civil Rights Movement differ from searching for the Montgomery Bus Boycotts?
Bridge: "Once we have found websites, it is important to evaluate their content." 
Activity #3. Analyzing Information: Now that students are ready to use search engines, look at the five W’s for Website Evaluation: Who is responsible for the site? What type of site is it? Where can you find more information? Why was the site created?
Model for students through application of the 5-Ws for Evaluating Websites to different websites.
Bridge: "Now that we have the knowledge to evaluate websites let's look at how to take notes while reading material online."
Activity #4: Synthesizing Information: Students will learn more if they become actively involved with the text.  Discuss with students the importance of active reading. Active reading leads to greater learning. When taking notes, students should locate main ideas and important detail.  Model for students how to take notes from a website.
Bridge: "Does anyone have any questions? I'm going to let you start researching now. I'll be walking around to answer questions."
Activity #5: Research: Allow students to research their approved topic. Remind students to use summarizing skills when reading information online. Students will be required to hand in their notes sheets at the end of the project. When students are researching they will also be able to sign up to use the scanner to scan in family images during this time.
Note: Take anecdotal notes while students are researching to be used for feedback during conferencing and grading.

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