Hamlet Research Paper: Find, Evaluate, and Select Appropriate Research Sources
Submitted by digeronimot on Mon, 03/14/2011 - 22:44
Theresa Foy DiGeronimo
Hawthorne High School
Type of Lesson:
Lesson in a unit
Type of Schedule:
The high school media center staff was evaluating its online subscription databases to determine if they were sufficient for student needs. At the same time, the IT staff did an analysis of Internet searches processed through the school server on one given day. The results showed that the overwhelming majority of searches were conducted through general search engines such as Google and Bing and the subscription databases were woefully underused. As an introduction to the Language Arts unit on writing the research paper, the SL offered to teach English classes how to find and evaluate credible Internet information through the library’s subscription databases as well as through the public library databases. For this full-period lesson, the students came with their teacher to the library computer lab. The teacher will follow-up by adding “credible sources” to the research paper assessment rubric.
Students will learn why general Internet search engines are not always the best first-source for research papers (yielding only 25%, at best, of available Web information, according to Devine and Egger-Sider in Going Beyond Google). The essential questions for this lesson include: How can I use the Internet to accurately determine how much of Hamlet is based on true historical events?
Students will write an academic research paper for the Language Arts teacher on the historical influences found in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The papers will show evidence of the students' ability to find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources of Internet research on the basis of authority, currency, accuracy, and objectivity.
Students will create a chart that compares search results for a given topic using Google to the results found using subscription databases. The chart will show evaluative criteria including authority, currency, accuracy, and objectivity.
After comparing completed comparison charts of Google search results and subscription database search results, the SL, teacher and students will discuss and determine the advantages and disadvantages of general search engines versus subscription/membership databases for academic research.
Estimated Lesson Time:
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Strategies for differentiation:
As the SL notices students needing differentiated instruction who may be struggling with the concept or falling behind in searching the websites and databases, the SL will alert the teacher who can provide individualized explanations. Students with in-class support personnel will work with their support person to answer the evaluation criteria questions. Students with attention deficits will be given a print out of the model lesson that is displayed for the class on the Smart board or with the computer projector.