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Information search

Problem-centred tasks

Engaging students in online search to develop search skills and understandings. The most effective way to teach these skills is to provide opportunities for finding information online and embed these in class activities. 

  • Finding information on a given topic

  • Students generate interesting questions and use them as queries


Scaffolding activities

#1 Key words

Students clarify the information they need and brainstorm relevant key words and their synonyms, considering the context.  

#2 Compare

Students explore how to do a simple Google search using key words and experience how changing the keyword can change the result.

#3 Everyone is different

Students compare their search results with others’ and learn how Google personalises search results depending on past search history or physical location

 (e.g. people in different locations searching 'zoo').

#4 Green URL and domain

Students analyse the anatomy of a Google search result and explore its components (title, snippet, web address, sponsored links (advertisements) etc.).


#5 Reading snippets

Students  scan snippets of their searches and compare these with their key words to see whether the words in the search result match their intent.

#6 Deconstructing web addresses

Students analyse the web address to understand the origin of the page and the target audience  (e.g. well-known online resource, domain, country of origin, a file type).

#7 Google instant search

Students explore Google instant search - a feature that predicts what is being searched for. Students evaluate which predictions are helpful and unhelpful and justify their choices.

#8 Shortcuts

Students identify some strategies to search for  specific information once they click on a site (e.g. Control F or search box, scanning, skimming or detailed reading). 

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