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An Interactive Lesson for Classroom Use

Marcella Dawson : E-mail
Subject: Science
Topic: Internet Research
Level: Middle School
Date: September 16, 1997
NB: These pages do not have graphics. Classroom experience has shown that download time of graphics wastes precious class time.
A large font has been used for easier viewing. Visual impairments, such as color blindness, are addressed in the use of blue text on white background.
Use hyper text links to access information.
Record information.
Describe the major discoveries of historical scientists.
Use and understand biographical indexes.
Appreciate the vast amount of data and information available through research.
Appreciate the significance of scientists in different historical periods.
Appreciate and understand that information and knowledge adds to our understanding of our culture.
Learn to use information retrieved on the Internet to become a better students.
This site is a series of lessons on how to find information on the Internet, for middle school students. The lessons begin with a simple research assignment; students follow the online directions to learn search techniques. Later lessons focus on research for a writing assignment and the efficient use of the Internet to find information.

Five class periods, depending on Internet/Research proficiency of students.


Internet access, pencils, index cards for note-taking , markers, floppy disk, copies of assignments. List of scientists are available by clicking on the buttons below.

Biology Physical Science Earth Science

Teacher - load Netscape Navigator, verify that all URL links are functioning. schedule computer lab time (if available), some class lecture/discussion about the history of science, prepare biographical lists appropriate for the science topic, determine format used in English/History Department for research papers. Check the list for appropriate inclusion to meet your school's diversity policies.

Students - some computer skills, keyboard skills, experience in writing assigned papers


Hyper text links will be used to access information about historically significant scientists.

Assignment 1

The students learn the use of an Internet browser, learn the basic commands for searching, find and print specific information about a scientist, and highlight important facts. There is no writing assignment.

Assignment 2

The research assignment is analyzed to help the student determine the specific information needed to complete the research. The student will determine what it requires you to find, write down specific information you will have to research, and note what it does not ask you to include. Following these steps will save time and help you use your information efficiently.

Lesson 1: Learning How to Search

Using the Internet for research requires the use of "search engines". This section introduces the student to search engines and shows how to use them efficiently so that only relevant information is accessed

Lesson 2: Searching, Guided Practice

In this lesson, the student will learn to select words and phrases that will simplify and narrow search to the topic.This section provides pre-selected sites that will provide biographical information.

Lesson 3: Searching, Independent Practice

In this lesson, the student will continue researching the assigned topic. Suggested sites are listed. The students practice selecting sites most appropriate for their topics

Lesson 4:Examining the Assignment

The research assignment is analyzed to determine the specific information needed to complete the research. Students determine what is required , write down specific information that has to be researched, and note what is not included. Following these steps will save time and help students use information efficiently.

Lesson 5:Analyzing Information

This section is a guide for the process of organizing information and putting it into a usable format. Students use index cards and color coding to sort the information they have collected.

Lesson 6: Writing Your Paper

Communicating the information you have gathered is the most important part of your assignment. In this section you will go through a step by step guide that will produce a simple two page research paper

These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 06/24/99. Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.