Lesson Plan

Q Files Answers the Question

Students will learn to use an online encyclopedia and how to use keywords to search for information.
Cara B.
Media specialist/librarian
RCS MIddle School
Ravena, NY
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
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Students will be able to...use an online encyclopedia to search for the answers to specific questions.

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 4 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Direct Instruction

Review the features of an online encyclopedia; mini library; Good place to start, gives you a broad overview of the subject; gives you who, what, when where, and how, will not give you the why or discuss opinions; Information listed in articles is in words/paragraphs, in addition to tables, charts and graphs.

Use of keywords - how search for specific information; synonyms.

When start to read an article, find there is too much information, don’t want to read whole thing just what you are looking for.  Each article is divided into sections (like chapters).  Each main section has a name or heading.

If it is a really large article, each heading will have subheadings or smaller sections.

Also has highlighted words that are links that you can click on to find more information about a specific subject.

Model for the students how to look up an example.



Student Instructions

Question students as to what they already know.  Discuss with students information necessary to use an online encyclopedia.   Discuss with students how to use the online encyclopedia and ways to search.

2 Guided Practice

Activity: Investigating

Each article has entry (keyword) - what you would use to search.  Read the question decide what the main topic is,  use that keyword to search for information; if that word doesn't return any results try using a synonym or related word.  When you get results - skim and scan to find the specific information you require to answer the question.


Student Instructions

Have students work along with you practicing how to search for information.

3 Independent Practice

Activity: Investigating

Students will complete the worksheet in pairs while the teacher walks around monitoring and helping students.


Student Instructions

Complete a worksheet using Q Files.

4 Wrap-up

Activity: Assessing

As a class we will go through some of the questions to see how groups used different keywords to search for information and discuss.


Student Instructions

Discuss how searches for information were conducted and results you received.