4-6: Student Learning and Instructional Activities


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The student will access and use information from a variety of sources.

PLAN: Planning means the students are engaging the topic or assignment and deciding what they want to know about the topic and/or the information they need for their assignment.


Students will ask themselves:

  • What do I need to do?
  • What's my assignment: What's my research topic?
  • What information do I need to answer my question? What information do I need for my research topic?
  • Plan strategies and follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects and make the real-world connection for using this process in one’s personal life. (1.1.1) (3.a)
  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation. (4.a)
  • Use prior and background knowledge to develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding. (1.1.2) (1.1.3)
  • Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collections of superficial facts. (1.2.1)
  • Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to achieve success and by persisting in information searching despite challenges (1.2.5) (1.2.6).
  • Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading. (4.1.2)
  • Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres. (4.1.4)
  • Apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information by planning strategies to guide inquiry (3.a)
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project. (4.b)
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions. (4.d)
  • Understand and use technology systems, troubleshooting when and where necessary. (6.a) (6.c)
  • Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies (6.d)
  • Create a K-W-L chart or other graphic organizer related to the topic.
  • Clarify and refine a research topic. (4-6.1)
  • Brainstorm related topics, ideas, and concepts to narrow topic.
  • Identify key words, phrases, synonyms related to the topic.
  • Carry out independent reading for extended periods of time to gain information. (4-2.5)
  • Read about the topic to define and narrow the topic to an essential question.
  • Begin a research notebook for use during the research process. Include all materials related to the research project.
  • Plan what the final product will be and what will be needed to demonstrate learning.

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ACT: As students ACT on their plan, they must prioritize their list of possible sources of information, find those resources, engage the resources to extract the relevant information and then evaluate the information for credibility, authority, and relationship to the topic or assignment.)


Students ask themselves such questions as:

  • Where can I find the information I need to answer my question or for my research topic?
  • Which information source(s) will be the most helpful in answering my question? Which information source(s) will be the most helpful for my research topic?
  • What search strategy will work best for each information source (e.g., book, online encyclopedia, web site)?
  • Now that I’ve found some information what do I do with it?
  • How do I decide what I need from everything I’ve found?
  • Find, evaluate, and select appropriate information sources and digital tools to answer questions and accomplish specific tasks by recognizing that resources are created for a variety of purposes, including propaganda (e.g., pop-up ads, spam). (1.1.4) (3.c) (4.3.2) (IS 2.3) (IS 2.4)
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions. (4.c)
  • Select and use applications effectively and productively.  (6.b)
  • Use critical thinking when evaluating information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context. (1.1.5) (1.2.2) (IS 2.1)
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media. (3.b) (1.2.3) (IS 2.1)
  • Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning. (1.1.6)
  • Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias. (1.1.7) (IS 2.1)
  • Demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry. (1.1.8)
  • Seek divergent perspectives during information gathering and assessment to gain a broad perspective. (1.2.7) (1.3.2)
  • Continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical-thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge. (2.1.1) Demonstrate flexibility in the use of resources by adapting information strategies to each specific resource and by seeking additional resources when clear conclusions cannot be draw. (2.2.1)
  • Use both divergent and convergent thinking to formulate alternative conclusions and test them against the evidence. (2.2.2)
  • Employ a critical stance in drawing conclusions by demonstrating that the pattern of evidence leads to a decision or conclusion. (2.2.3)
  • Consider diverse and global perspectives in drawing conclusions. (2.3.2)
  • Determine how to act on information (2.4.1)
  • Seek information for personal learning through multiple resources in a variety of formats and genres. (4.1.4) (4.2.1)
  • Maintain openness to new ideas by considering divergent opinions, changing opinions or conclusions when evidence supports the change, and seeking information about new ideas encountered through academic or personal experiences. (4.2.3)
  • Demonstrate teamwork by working productively with others, either individually or in project teams, to produce original works or solve problems. (3.2.3) (2.d)
  • Use social networks and information tools both electronically and in person to gather and share information exhibiting responsibility, safety, and etiquette. (4.1.7) (4.3.1)(IS 1.3)
  • Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers and the principles of intellectual freedom. (1.3.1) (3.3.7) (IS 3.1)
  • Follow and advocate the use of ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information and use technology and information responsibly and ethically, including identifying plagiarism, hacking, and understanding appropriate guidelines for emailing and viewing/posting content. (1.3.3) (1.3.5)(3.16) (5.a) (IS 3.2) (IS 3.3) (IS 3.4)
  • Carry out independent reading for extended periods of time to gain information. (4-2.5)
  • Brainstorm a list of all possible sources that would contain information related to the selected topic.
  • Prioritize the list of resources from best/ most helpful to least helpful.
  • Summarize evidence that supports the central idea of a given informational text.(4-2.1)
  • Take notes using keywords to identify important facts and information.
  • Paraphrase research information accurately and meaningfully. (4-6.4)
  • Use correct bibliographic citation format to keep track of all sources use.
  • Use print sources such as books, magazines, charts, graphs, diagrams, dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, thesauri, newspapers, and almanacs and nonprint media to access information. (4-6.2)
  • Create a list of sources that contains information (including the author and title of a publication) necessary to properly credit and document the work of others. (4.6-5)
  • Use the Internet with the aid of a teacher. (4-6.6)
  • Understand that headings, subheadings, print styles, white space, captions, and chapter headings provide information to the reader. (4-2.6)
  • Use graphic features such as illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and graphic organizers as sources of information. (4-2.7)
  • Use functional text features (including tables of contents, glossaries, indexes, and appendixes).(4-2.8)
  • Analyze informational texts to identify cause-and-effect relationships. (4-2.9)
  • Understand and use Boolean operators.
  • Evaluate resources, including web sites,  for validity and relevance to selected topic.
  • Add to the research notebook.





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ORGANIZE: When students ORGANIZE their information, they are making decisions about that information and their assignment or research topic. During this phase, students will write their report, create their multimedia presentation, complete the assignment, and submit their work. During this phase students must demonstrate what they learned.
Students should ask themselves such questions as:
  • How can I put my information together to show that I answered my question?

  • How can I show what I learned?

  • How do I document all the information sources I used?


  • Organize personal and academic knowledge in a way that it is useful and can be called upon easily. (2.1.2) (4.1.6) 

  • Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information, to process data, and to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess. (2.1.4) (3.1.4) (3.d)

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes. (1.a)

  • Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings. (2.1.6) (IS 2.3)

  • Demonstrate personal productivity by completing products to express learning. (2.2.4)

  • Conclude an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning. (3.1.1)

  • Use writing and speaking skills to communicate information, ideas, and new understandings effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats. (3.1.3) (2.b)

  • Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess. (3.1.4)

  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues. (1.c)

  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities. (1.d)

  • Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real-world situations, and further investigations. (2.1.3)

  • Connect learning and understanding to community issues and to the real world (2.3.1) (3.1.5)

  • Create products that apply to authentic, real-world contexts. (3.3.4)

  • Use knowledge and information skills and dispositions to engage in public conversations and debate around issues of common concern. (3.3.3)

  • Use information and knowledge in the service of democratic values. (3.3.6)

  • Organize information by classifying or sequencing. (4-6.3)
  • Use the research notebook in putting the information together to finalize the research project.
  • Create an outline or storyboard for organizing written, oral, or visual presentation.
  • Select appropriate graphics, in print or electronic form, to support written works and oral and visual presentations. (4-6.8)
  • Use vocabulary (including Standard American English) that is appropriate for the particular audience or purpose. (4-6.7)
  • Create bibliograpy and/or works cited page for written or visual presentation.
  • Use various media to present information (e.g., oral presentation, written report, web page, podcast, PowerPoint presentation, video) [See Suggestions for Student Final Products for more examples.]



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REFLECT: When students REFLECT on their work, they are evaluating their product as well as their research process. During this phase, students’ work may be submitted for peer review. Also during this phase, the teacher and/or library media specialist will reflect on the students’ work and using a grading rubric, evaluate the students’ work for assigning a grade.
Students should ask themselves such questions as:
  • How will I know if I answered my question?

  • How will I know if I did my job well?


  • Recognize new knowledge and understanding. (2.4.3) 

  • Identify own areas of interest. (4.4.1)

  • Evaluate own ability to select resources that are engaging and appropriate for personal interests and needs. (4.4.6)

  • Review notes, outline, storyboard, ten key words.
  • Identify other areas of interest based on current text.
  • Evaluate final product for completeness, understanding, and relevance.
  • Explain what was read to the teacher or a classmate.



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