Lesson Plan

Digital Literacy and Research Skills

Students will develop deeper digital literacy and research skills
Megan M.
Classroom teacher
Bilingual European School
Milano, Italy
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My Grades 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Learning
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • Identify what a source is
  • Identify what makes a source reliable
  • Identify a variety of search strategies (ex. key words)
  • Use search strategies in authentic situations
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook - The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

  • Ask students what a source is
    • Somewhere you get information from (ex. books, online, news)
  • Ask students how they know a source is reliable
    • Website ends in .org, .edu, .gov
    • Authors are visible, etc.
  • Tell students that they are going to have 30 minutes to research about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Student Instructions
  • Students create a Google Slides presentation about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
    • What is it?
    • Where does it live?
    • How can we help it?

2 Core Learning - Identifying Reliable Sources

Activity: Conversing
  • Some students may have discovered that this is a hoax, some may not have
  • If they discover it is a hoax tell them to keep it a secret until everyone has presented
  • After all students have presented - explain that this is a hoax 
    • Ask:
      • What strategies did you use to find information? (many students will just click the first link)
      • Did you notice any words that came up again and again? (hoax: many students will ignore this word because they won't know what it means)
      • How many sources did you refer to? (many students will only look at one)
    • This lesson teaches us that we need to research carefully and do the following:
      • Use a variety of credible sources
      • Check information against other sources to ensure it can be verified
    • Introduce students to Google Tips and Tricks 
Student Instructions
  • Students present their information about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

3 Research in Action - Google Search Challenges

  • Give small groups of students different Google Search Challenges
  • Students must use research tricks in order to solve
Student Instructions
  • In small groups students complete Google Search Challenges
  • Students must write the specific steps and strategies they used to solve the challenges