Unit Topic or Theme: An introduction to more effective use of the Internet
Lesson Topic or Theme: Internet Scavenger Hunt, First Lesson
Lesson Summary: The Internet Scavenger Hunt is a sequence of three lessons that teach students to find information in Internet documents. The emphasis is on locating answers to specific questions, and on locating information that indicates how reliable the answers might be. The Scavenger Hunt questions fall into three categories, with "content" questions considered easiest, "recency" questions considered more difficult, and "authority" questions being most difficult.
This lesson is the first in the sequence of three lessons. The emphasis in this first lesson is on learning skills. Significant teacher interaction is involved, primarily in the form of providing guidance and answering questions as students perform the tasks. Lessons two and three involve practicing and using the skills learned in this lesson, so less teacher involvement is required.
Information Literacy Objectives:
Learning Outcomes: Students, after participating in the Internet scavenger hunt lesson, will be able to:
Instructional Technique: Demonstration, question and answer, student directed Internet use, group work, discussion.
Instructional Materials: Computers with CD-ROM. Scavenger hunt questions, answers, and worksheets (see the Materials section, below). CD which includes web sites needed to answer the questions.
Note: If the school has enough computers with Internet access, then the CD becomes unnecessary.
The teacher asks the students what a scavenger hunt is and if anyone has ever been on one. After discussing briefly the student responses, the teacher will inform the students that the class will be doing a special type of Internet scavenger hunt. Here, the teacher might want to reflect with the students about what they have learned previously about the Internet. The teacher will give each group of students (if possible, two-four students should work together on each computer) the worksheet which includes the scavenger hunt questions and the web site addresses.
Note: The teacher might want to determine student groups based on computer/Internet skills. A mix of abilities in each group will help ensure greater success.
The teacher and students do two of the Scavenger Hunt questions together, as a way of introducing the students to the key points for this lesson. The key points are:
Choose a link that looks like it might answer the question.
Look at the scrollbar to see if the page is short or long.
Find the section of the page that is most likely to contain the answer.
Scan the page, looking for titles, pictures or links that are related to the question.
If it doesn't answer your question, pick another section and try again.
Each group of students now works together to answer each of the questions on the scavenger hunt worksheet. The teacher(s) move around the room helping students and providing focus.
Each student indicates which page was easiest, which page was hardest, and what it was that made a page easy or hard. Each student also identifies the site that was "the best" and why it was the best. (See sample worksheet.)
Students and teachers go over the answers to each question. Student groups who are unable to answer questions correctly can be helped to find correct answers by groups that are successful. End with discussion about problems, concerns, and student opinions.
Adaptations for different learners
Extra time should be spent with students having difficulty with answering questions. Certain students might want to work with other students who feel more comfortable finding information on the Internet.
This lesson requires students to answer questions by finding and evaluating information found on the Internet. Since some questions are more difficult to answer than others, different levels of accuracy are expected for the three types of questions. If students are able to complete these tasks with the specified degree of accuracy , it will be clear that the students have met the information literacy objectives stated above.