Independence While Using the Internet

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SWBAT will research the topic of their choosing by gathering relevant information from multiple digital sources, using search terms effectively and assessing the credibility and accuracy of each source.

Big Idea

“To find yourself, think for yourself.”- Socrates

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say,”For our past two drafts we have been researching from websites that I gave you. In order for you to be an independent researcher, you are going to be able to pick your websites today using some tips.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skils, we are going to practice gathering information from internet sources. I am going to practice the skill of gathering evidence about my topic and the strategy of using successful search terms and determining credibility of an internet source. The process I will use is as follows:

1)      Review my central idea or questions I am answering

2)      Pick a search engine and type in a search term using the Research Tips.docx*

3)      Determine which website I will use according to the tip sheet

4)      Jot down pieces of evidence that fit the logical central idea or question (using the Four Types of Evidence gathering sheet.docx).

5)     Label the type of evidence I am using.”

I will model for the class how I take my questions I have about the Boston Massacre from yesterday and use one of the search engines from the website. I will read over my question by saying the below:

  • “Yesterday I asked, “What was the cause of the Boston Massacre? I will type in “cause of Boston Massacre” instead of the whole question.  
  • I see a lot of “.coms” but by using my tip sheet, I am going to use since it is a “.gov.”
  • I see my answer, “Late that day, a crowd of colonists gathered to shout at and bother some British troops.Bostonresidents were resentful of the presence of the troops in their city. As tension mounted, the soldiers suddenly fired their muskets.”
  • I am going to write down, “Colonists were instigating the British troops because they were angry about them occupying their city. The British troops then shot their “muskets” into the crowd.”
  • This type of evidence is something that somebody witnessed and although there are facts, overall I am going to label it as “testimonial evidence.” 

*I revised this research sheet based on a sheet Seattle School's librarians composed. I have collaborated with our school's librarian, Dave Nelson (thanks Dave!) for lessons in the research unit. Librarians are great resources for research!


Active Engagment

5 minutes

Students will start their internet research using the tips sheet and the four types of evidence gathering sheet. I will seat them next to other students who are researching the same jobs in order for them to work with partners.

I will check for understanding by looking over the shoulders of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ensure that students are finding evidence that relates to their question, they are using the tips sheet and are labeling the type of evidence they find.

After most of the class has found one pieces of evidence, I will do the closing, then have them independenly work on their own.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Who would like to share out how they used the tip sheet?” I will ask my 3 levels of learners, then clear up any misconceptions. Then I will close before the start independent practice. “Remember, successful researchers go through many steps while researching for evidence. They review their central ideas or questions, they pick a search engine and type in a search terms, then determine which website they should use, then jot down pieces of  different types of evidence that fits the logical central idea or question.


Indepdendent Practice

30 minutes

Independent Practice:  Students will be directed to find evidence on their own. Based on the time they have in class, I will give them a number of pieces of evidence I expect by the end of the class period. I will confer with them as they research using the possible conferences for gathering evidence for the research essay.docx

I will also continue to remind them to As I write, I am also pointing out that I am thinking through sentences as I am writing (even when researching). Writing while using a variety of sentences (simple, compound and complex) was something my students are still struggling with and I want to ensure, that every time we write, we are constantly practicing sentence structure. This is a reminder for students to use a variety of sentences which is "anchored" in my classroom. It also helps me remember to remind students! 

Partner Work: After about ten minutes of independently researching, I will direct students to share their findings with their partners. I will say, “Share your best piece of evidence so far with the person next to you. Share how you found it on the internet and the type of evidence you found.” Listen to the person sharing and give them feedback about what they could do next. You could give them advice about what type of evidence they could look for next, or another tip to use while searching for evidence.

Depending on time and where my learners are at in the lesson I will have students share out what their partner said. If during conferencing and walking around, I see that at least 85% of the students are completing their research successfully, then I will not further interrupt them with a whole group share out. I  will then have students go back to researching and spend my time conferring with the 15%. 



I will collect students’ evidence gathering sheets as they are walking out of the door. I am looking to see what type of evidence they are collecting in order to pull certain texts for their reading of non-fiction articles for the next days lesson.