Information Literacy Lessons

  • Intro Activity 1 Activity 2 Activity 3 Activity 4 Activity 5 Activity 6 Activity 7

    research zone  


    So, you've been given an assignment to research a topic. Now you are faced with some research questions:

    • What resources can you find in the Destiny book, ebook, and media catalog?
    • Which other online resources will you use?
    • What kind of search will you do?
    • How will you state your search strategy?
    • How will you know if your sources are any good?
    • How will you cite your online resources?

    This project is designed to introduce search strategies and resources for today's information age.  It is also a college-ready standard so that you are prepared for rigorous research.

    The Task

    Word Task on chalkboard with a check mark To develop a quality search strategy and determine which resource(s) meet your specific information needs. 

    To complete the task, you will need the following learning targets, which align with the Arizona Educational Technology Standards, specifically Strand 3: Research and Information Literacy. 

    • Skill in determining the appropriate database (or other research resources) for the information needed.
    • Skill in identifying and defending effective keywords, phrases, and strategies for information searches.
    • Skill in evaluating diverse information sources.
    • Skill in utilizing advanced search strategies in a variety of search engines and databases.
    • Skill in defending the authority of primary and/or secondary sources used in research.
    • Skill in evaluating information for accuracy, objectivity (facts, opinions, bias, misleading information), currency, and relevancy.
    • Skill in creating researched information into a new understanding and innovative product.
    • Skill in applying the ethical use of information and media by citing resources appropriately.
    • Skill in practicing safe, legal, and responsible when using technology and resources as defined by our school district’s procedures.

    How we will accomplish the process

    process spelled out with gears under

    The following is an overview of the activities.

    • Each student will take the online pretest. 
    • Each student will be given a topic for research.
    • Each student will be given a worksheet to use in identifying and defending effective subject, keywords, phrases, and advanced search strategies when conducting information searches.
    • Each student will use an online research resource (databases or ebook) to locate general information on the topic.
    • Each student will download, email, and/or print articles in order to experience a variety of methods for saving research materials.
    • Each student will correctly cite the sources.
    • Each student will submit the complete packet of worksheets, articles, and evaluations to the classroom instructor.
    • Each student will take the online post-test.
    • Each student will utilize research materials to create a final project for the teacher.

    research resources

    Research resources we will use


    The online book and media catalog contains the library’s resources, such as nonfiction books, biographies, reference books, ebooks, audiobooks, films, and sound recordings. There are lots of other useful tools there, too, like the ability to create resources lists, citation tools, and links to vetted websites. The Destiny online book and media catalog is found on the library homepage.

    Subscription Databases

    Online subscription databases services are located on the library homepage. These databases can always be accessed on campus, but at home, you must have a password since these are purchased for our students’ use only.  Get a bookmark at the library for home access.  Each database is purchased for a different research purpose.

    • EBSCOhost:  Multiple databases with magazines, newspapers, points or view, biographies, science, literary references, and more.
    • ProQuest SIRS:  Covers the leading controversial issues most studied and debated by students along with excellent historical and government issues.
    • World Book Online:  An online encyclopedia, which offers information, graphics, timelines, and links to other web information.
    • Culturegrams:  This gives an in-depth view of all countries around the world with a cultural aspect.
    • CQ Researcher:  Current and controversial issues, created for Congress, are published in 25-30 page pamphlet format.
    • ABC Clio:  Modern genocide database.
    • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL): An online reference ebook collection that is searchable like a database.
    • Gale at the Arizona State Library: Multiple databases with magazines, newspapers, points or view, biographies, science, literary references, and more. You need an Arizona zip code to use these state library databases.

    search engine

    Search engine links

    • Google is the world’s most used search engine, but this assignment will require you to try a search engine rarely used by you.  (This one is not allowed in this assignment.)
    • Ask is a search engine that originally used natural language in the form of questions.
    • Yahoo finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions and is the second most popular search engine.
    • Dogpile and Metacrawler are metasearch engines that return all the best results from leading search engines including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.
    • Bing is Microsoft's search engine, which strives to rivals Google.  Some like to use it because it provides Bing rewards as an incentive.
    • DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t track you, helping you to avoid the perhaps you might like this other site.

    Your teacher's assignment


    Once you have completed all the activities, you should be able to put all the parts together. You should be competent in developing a search strategy and in understanding how the various resources work. You should also be able to evaluate the resources/information that you have found. Now you have the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned.

    Your classroom instructor will determine your final project.  

    By the end of this assignment, you will know a lot more about the resources available to you. No more guesswork when searching for information.  You should be proud of yourselves! You can use what you've learned to quickly and efficiently locate and evaluate information for any of your school and personal needs. Are there other sites to still be explored?  Absolutely! You will have many opportunities in other classes to continue this process. Remember learning never stops and INFORMATION IS POWER! 


    You are ready to begin Activity 1:  Subject Searching