Lesson Plan

Research Tips - Tricks - Tools

Research Information
Lisa L.
Media specialist/librarian
Middletown High School North
Middletown, United States
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will be able to...

utilize Wikipedia as a resource

evaluate websites for credibility 

identify the differences in website domains 

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Activity: Conversing

What does the word research actually mean and how do we go about researching something?

Turn and talk to your group and come up with with a definition of the word research and the different methods you use to approach research.



2 Direct Instruction and Student Practice

1.  Teacher will review what a website domain is and ask for student volunteers to explain the differences based on the domains provided. Students will complete the student activity and then teacher will ask for group responses and feedback.  

2.  Using .org as a segway, the teacher will ask students if they utilize Wikipedia as a source and if so - if they should? Ask for student responses and discuss the downfalls of Wikipedia.  Then, ask students to open Reliable Sources handout on Google Docs.  Using the links on the doc, direct students to Wikipedia's stance on using Wikipedia for research.  Have students review and complete response on shared Doc.

Wikipedia Scavenger hunt using - Doughnuts. Direct students toward that section on Reliable Sources Doc. Have student groups explore Wikipedia article on doughnuts and fill out the questions regarding the doughnut entry. Call class back together to see what they have found. Discuss how to use Wikipedia by utilizing its reference page or overall idea, but then verifying information and using original source vs. Wikipedia entry.

3. Now that we have ideas of sites to explore - let's look at the differences between sites and how we determine if they are credible.  For fun - show video "How to Know if a Source is Reliable" by Shmoop.  Ask students if they follow the steps outlined in video and why they do or why they do not.  After gathering resoruce 



Student Instructions

1. Students will then click on and review each of the websites representing the different domains and will discuss the what they found on each site.  They will use prior knowledge of bias to determine if domains that are usually considered trustworthy (.org/.edu) still need to be properly vetted for use.  Students will utilize research pathfinder and create a group doodle documenting what they found.

2. Students will go to Reliable Sources handout and link to Wikipedia Research information.  Groups will create a statement about using Wikipedia for research after they review Wikipedia's own words about using them for research and share it on their Doc.

Students will explore Wikipedia article on donuts and fill out the questions regarding the doughnut entry on shared Doc.  Upon teacher request, students will share answers.