As a prerequisite to this lesson, I invite the media specialist to talk to students about the various online search engines available for school use. Internet safety is also a part of this discussion. We take a tour of the library to view available resources as well.
I begin this lesson by discussing three main types of internet text features:
Afterwards, I demonstrate their usefulness during my search for resources by projecting my laptop screen on the board. I show students the various icons and their purpose. Then, I demonstrate how to use a pull down menu to locate a topic. I also conduct a search using key words.
I use the research guideline resource on page 11 to point out various online features that students can use to expedite their searches and then record examples. Understanding how to use feature such as links and embedded videos adds depth to reading online text.
Ready, Set, Research!
with Britannica® Student Encyclopedia
Copyright © 2008 by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
In order to practice online skills, I like to visit the media center with my students. This is the location in my school where we find available laptops, audiovisual resources, and personnel resources such as the librarian and her aide. I encourage students to go online to search on student friendly websites such as Destiny Quest, Netrekker, Grolier, Timeforkids.com to locate key information using various online text features that were introduced in class.
Once students have practice in the media center or anywhere that allows them access to laptops (perhaps the computer lab at some schools), I ask students to prepare a presentation to demonstrate their favorite online text features. In order to accomplish this task, students are given a digital text feature chart (see source) so that they observe the differences between digital and book/ hard copy sources. Then, I ask students to find an interesting online article and prepare to discuss how the text features help them to locate relevant information. Mostly, they just have to remember the website they were on and the article they found most interesting online and discuss its text features. Common Core integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening so that students develop skills not just to locate information, but also communicate conceptual knowledge effectively by referencing and interpreting that information to others.
I project my laptop with students' favorite website and they select their article. Students orally present, which aligns with the common core presentation of knowledge and ideas by clarifying, detailing, recounting experiences using visual displays. Getting students to express their thoughts and ideas freely using details also create a positive self concept and strengthens their oral language and communications skills.