Our grade 3s got a feel for what research is all about on Tuesday. Research is defined by Merriam-Webster as;
1: careful or diligent search
2: studious inquiry or examination especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
3: the collecting of information about a particular subject
Our students were tasked to carefully and diligently search through our book resources for information about the insect of their choice using a Table of Contents and/or an Index page. They took notes in their own words on the insect of their choice and kept track of their sources.
They were then asked to search their subject online using very specific keywords. The proper use of keywords in online searching is an underrated skill. It takes some forethought to clearly use keywords to create the perfect query and yield the best results. A search on kiddle.co
for ‘centipedes’ will not yield half as much useful information as the query ‘centipede facts.’
They tracked their information in a special graphic organizer.
It is important that we don’t overlook the importance of teaching children to use books to find information. Learning to quickly scan a page and find pertinent information is a critical part of learning. So many children wanted to jump straight to finding the information they needed online, but learning to use non-fiction books is where children should begin. Once they can easily navigate a book, they will have the ability to quickly and efficiently scan websites in the same way.
We will be continuing to fine-tune these skills with all of their research projects this year and I look forward to seeing this class on a regular basis here in the library.