Grade 6 - Media Literacy

Strategic Searching & Critical Thinking

Curriculum Expectations (Overall & Specific)


1. demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts;

Specific: Responding to and Evaluating Texts

1.3 evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation and treatment of ideas, information, themes, opinions, issues, and/or experiences in media texts

(Ministry of Ed., 2006, p.117).

Ontario Language Arts Curriculum, Grades 1-8 (Revised)

Lesson Overview

Students will learn about effective and efficient online searches and how to use a variety of searching strategies rather than relying on a single source (verify that the information is credible). Students will learn a five-step method for planning and conducting an online search. Students will then apply what they have learned in determining the benefits of a research topic or question that will guide their online search.

Commons Sense Education, 2015.

Minds On - Engage Student Learning

Encourage students to review their prior knowledge and contribute to a whole-group discussion. As a class we will co-create a mind map during this brainstorming activity.

Teacher prompt: What steps can help you find what you’re looking for when you search online?

To encourage use of technology in the classroom students we would utilize the Coggle Mind Mapping Tool on the SmartBoard.

Coggle Tutorial - Introduction

Action: Refined Searched and the 5Ws

Prompt: Why do you think it might be important to have a plan when you search online?

This inquiry will give students an opportunity to participate in small group discussions (mixed ability groups). Talking points will be based on online searches that students have performed and how "a search plan might help them apply...searching strategies....[that are] more effective (Vocabulary Word) and efficient (Vocabulary Word)".

Commons Sense Education, 2015, PDF of Lessons.

Following these small group discussion students will be asked to share their ideas (refined search strategies) with the whole class. As a class we will review the information and meet at the SmartBoard to list and discuss the student generated strategies. This transition will allow the teacher to model a 5 step SEARCH plan that focuses on research questions and search engine optimization (Keywords of Terms).

Consolidation - Review Effective Search Strategies

Have students recall the 5 steps of a search plan.

SELECT research questions

EXTRACT keywords and terms

APPLY search strategies

RUN your search

CHART your search

Prompt: The following critical thinking question gives students an opportunity to discuss "why is it important to have a search plan?"

"Students should realize that thinking through their search before they begin should lead to a more effective and efficient search" (research topic).

Commons Sense Education, 2015, PDF of Lessons (Strategic Searching p.4-5).

Extended Learning - Next Steps

In the next lesson students will learn how to evaluate a website using the 5 W's

Adapted from Kathy Shrock's Website

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