|Something I found on Google images...|
Within a few seconds, students were telling me they were ready to print. I looked at their screens and sure enough, there was quite a bit of writing about our topic. I asked each student what they had read. The answer? Nothing beyond the title. They wanted to print so that they could move on.
This is not research; this is searching the web.
So I spent several lunch hours and planning periods putting together binders of information for them. I would staple and provide three copies of each research article I found. I even hi-lighted the important parts. Each binder had one activity and all the research provided. The task was for students to use the research to answer and complete the activity.
It was as terrible as pulling teeth.
They were very reluctant to do it. They didn't know how. By seventh grade, students have completed several "research projects'. Okay these are smaller, less independent research projects. But they are supposed to read something written by a published author and put it in their own words. So they should have some experience with reading information....yet this task was too much for them.
It opens up a whole issue - what are the children using Google for if not to read and make sense of the work. But obviously this is a skill that must be taught and guided for students. It's interesting that what is so obvious for me, is not so obvious for students...
When I taught grade 2, I had my students make "Expert Books" for research. They picked a topic they want to know more about, and basically write a non-fiction book. I then bind it for them. It has all the features of non-fiction - table of contents, bibliography, index, glossary, etc. They loved it!
I may have the seventh graders do this.