Each year I try something new and creative, a fresh idea to make research skills a fun learning experience for my students because let’s be real, research skills is not the students’ favorite. This year was as simple as a scavenger hunt.
Prior the fun hunt I got their attention by telling them that I have become an author recently. Ha, I wish that was true! What I have done is I have simply made eBooks in Book Creator, each book is grade level appropriate. I divided the books into chapters according to the phases of the research cycle. We have covered the first two chapters so far: Start Research and Find Sources where we discussed what is research, how to start a research, what is a good research question, location of good quality sources etc. In addition, we reminded ourselves that research takes time and not just a quick visit to Google. We decided that the good place to start are our databases and LibGuides in general. That’s when the scavenger hunt came handy.
Driven by the idea of a game of some kind students explored the databases and LibGuides, they got familiar with or refreshed their memories from the previous year on what can be found in these online spaces. It was confirmed that databases contain information that is well-organized and not overwhelming.
The scavenger hunt was a big success!
The images below are sample pages of the book I have created for Grade 6.
As a follow up activity during the next class, students worked in groups and each team received a random question. First thing they have realized was that typing the whole question in the database didn't take them anywhere. Keyword search was the key! Therefore, we went back and identified the keywords within the question, brainstormed synonyms and related terms, and then finally went back to the databases we explored previously to conduct the search.
To the next chapter please!