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Lesson Plan

Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection

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Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English







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  • Check that you have parent or guardian permission for all students to participate in Internet searches, and obtain a copy of your school or districtís acceptable use policy. If desired, make an overhead of the policy to share with students.

  • Familiarize yourself with the resources on the Writing Guides site from Colorado State University, and choose the demos that best fit your studentsí needs.

  • Choose a method for students to share the Web Resources that they find in the course of their research. The following options can work:

    • Computer-based systems such as electronic bulletin boards or e-mail discussion lists, with category headings as subject or thread titles.

    • A handout, developed by creating a form with shared category headings.

    • A class Web page, on which you list the URLs, can be added to your school Website. Students might e-mail their recommendations to you or complete a form with shared categories.

  • Choose the topic for your studentsí research and brainstorm a list of essential subject areas that students should cover. Keep your list for reference. For demonstration purposes, this lesson plan focuses on researching a specific country or several countries; however, this activity can be completed with any inquiry topic in the classroom and works well to supplement major units of study across the curriculum, as outlined in this list of additional collection ideas. Customize the lists as appropriate for your class. For an extended unit on science, technology, and society, for instance, you might use the complete list. For a more focused collection, you might narrow the list of categories to one area (e.g., transformations through science and technology).

  • If desired, make copies of the Website Evaluation Form.

  • For background information and information to share with students, refer to the Eduscapes resource Evaluating Internet Resources.

  • Test the Website Evaluation Process student interactive and the Website Evaluation Form student interactive on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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