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In Redux

By Elizabeth Wroten

Research with Fifth Grade: Research Time

On 07, Apr 2015 | In Redux | By Elizabeth Wroten

The next two days of library time I spent with the fifth grade actually gave them time to work on their research with me and the librarian present to help. I put together a Diigo site that provided them with pre-approved website. Ideally they would be working on evaluating websites themselves, but there just wasn’t time or practice enough in place for this to happen. And you know, that was just fine.

The first day I shared the Diigo site with them and showed them how it worked. Then I explained that they would be writing notes on notecards. Watching the kids try to maneuver between Diigo and any websites they pulled up was so awkward. If you have kids that are more computer saavy, using a computer or web-based program for note taking would be fine, but I am SO GLAD we had them physically write out their notes.

We reminded them about citations and gave them a list of information that they needed to get off their site, database, or book and told them to copy it onto the notecard. Each notecard had notes from one site, article or book (at least in theory). The students got some really good practice at finding website titles and copyright dates with this.

The second day there was more time for research. We also introduced the options for presentations. The kids would be allowed to create an infographic (a glorified poster), a Prezi, or a video. Mostly we were curious about what the kids would choose (it appears they all went for the Prezi because it was familiar)

I had a few thoughts for next year. The first is that the kids need an example of each type of presentation. That was a mistake I saw coming, but just did not have the time to correct. Second, I would ultimately like them to have some experience evaluating sites and doing Google searches just to see how hard it is. This is really not the project to do that on, especially since they have no experience with it yet, but I will find a way. Third, and this is something I fixed from the first group that came in the morning to the second that came in the afternoon, don’t share the presentations ideas and tools until after giving them 20 minutes or so to research. Once you tell them they can use Prezi or Canva (the site they could use to make an infographic) they just want to spend the period tinkering around on it. It was a major head slap moment, of course they would want to and that was fine. I just wanted them to spend a little more time researching too.

Find the full lesson plan for both days here: Research Days Lesson Plan

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