Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Teaching the Big6

I've been teaching the Big6 research process to sixth graders this week. We've made our way through Task Definition and Information Seeking Strategies. While there have been a few "ah ha" moments with some kids, so many of our students seem to be stuck in Googleland.

How do we truly move kids through a research process, be it Big6 or Super3 or some other process, without them reverting to the lone term put into the search box of Yahoo or or Dogpile. (Yes, some kid mentioned Dogpile today; I didn't know kids still used that!)

I used one of my favorite video clips, a commercial actually, to illustrate the fact that if they get stuck they need to think through the process, figure out what the next step is. (Yes, they all liked the commercial, and most of them "got it".)

But only time will really tell. We used their most recent studies of ancient Greece and Rome to talk through and walk through the first steps and there was hand-holding. When we cut them lose in the spring for the big sixth grade research project (a person that changed the world for better or worse), will they take the time to define their task and plan their search strategies in order to locate appropriate resources?

Or will they just type their person's name into Google on day one?

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