As English teachers are well aware, the simplicity of the Internet search engine offers students a tempting alternative to thinking critically through (not to mention composing their own!) research-based assignments. But of course, technology has not eliminated the need for basic research skills such as developing good questions and evaluating sources, and many gifted kids enjoy the hunt for information once they have learned these skills. Before throwing research projects their way, it is helpful to discuss the research process and the various pitfalls of Internet research. Check out the resources below for ideas on approaching this topic with students.
- ReadWriteThink offers a free lesson plan on Teaching Internet Research Strategies.
- Although the University of Pennsylvania’s “Creating Successful Research Assignments” pages are written for teachers at the college level, the tips are also appropriate for advanced high school students.
- The National Writing Project features this article on teaching students research skills with an unusual assignment: a first-person historical account.
Have you developed any good strategies for getting your students to engage in genuine research? Be sure to share them in the comments section!