Choosing Reliable Research Sources

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Objective

SWBAT identify reliable sources by analyzing source author, purpose, and content.

Big Idea

Do you trust a 6th grade research project? Choose the right sources for your research.

Do Now: What Makes a Good Source?

5 minutes

To prime students' minds for the day's focus, I ask, what makes a good source to use for research?

"The teacher provides it." Those are generally good to use, yes. What else?

"Google!" Haha, not necessarily.

"The library." Often, yes, but not always.

Silence. No big deal--we're going to talk about this right now!

Choosing Reliable Sources

15 minutes

I point out to students that their research notes ask them to explain why their sources are reliable. "Google found it," is not a good answer, but there are many reasons why we might choose to use a source; it's important to know strengths (and weaknesses) of sources in relation to purpose (why the source was created), task (what it's trying to share), audience (who is intended to view it), and author. There are also many ways to find good sources, including advanced academic search engines, using a wider variety of search terms effectively, and utilizing search tools to find materials which may be reused. With that, I pass out the notes guide and we proceed through the PowerPoint.

Research

30 minutes

Students have now reviewed how to choose and cite sources, so it's time to let them practice. They have the remainder of the hour to research for their life proposal assignment. Once they have found resources, I will meet with them individually while the class works to go over their source selection process and choices. We'll discuss how they found their materials and why the resources are good to use (or, perhaps, not so good).