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Lesson Plan

Using Web-Based Bookmarks to Conduct Internet Research

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 2 – 3
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 30- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Nancy Drew

Tecumseh, Ontario


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Demonstrate an understanding of text that is read to them by actively participating in a whole-class discussion about it

  • Compose a writing piece based on a specific text structure and topic

  • Develop inquiry/research skills by participating in the development of research questions and accessing predetermined websites to find the answers to their questions

  • Gain knowledge of a content area topic (in this case, butterflies) and demonstrate the ability to synthesize information through a writing assignment

  • Develop media literacy skills by accessing a variety of websites for the purposes of researching information about a topic

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Session 1

1. Seat students comfortably around you to facilitate class discussion and enable you to more easily observe them for assessment purposes.

2. Ask students to think about something that is important about each of them individually. Some guiding questions include:

  • What do you think is important for other people to know about you? You might want to give an example, such as, "I think it is important for people to know I am a teacher." If answers are off-topic, you can provide additional suggestions, such as, "I think it is important that I have five sisters."

  • Why do you think those things are important?

  • Do you have a pet? Would the same types of things be important about your pet? Why or why not?

  • What would be important about your pet?

Have students orally share the important things about themselves with a partner.

3. Introduce The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown, and tell students that this book is also about important things. Ask them to listen for the important points as you read the story aloud.

4. After reading, briefly discuss students' impressions of the book. For example, ask them to choose a favorite passage. Why did they choose that passage? Were there any words in the book that intrigued them? What were the "important things"? Record their responses to these questions on chart paper.

5. Ask students if they noticed anything interesting about the way the author wrote the book. How are the passages similar? How are they different? The purpose of this discussion is to guide students to construct their own understanding of the structure of the text. That is, guide them to note that the first and last lines are almost the same. (First line: "The important thing about...." Last line: "But the important thing about....") The middle lines are descriptive passages about the item on the page.

6. Record students' responses in a way that will allow them to use the same structure as a model when writing their own poems later in the lesson.

7. Refer to the large copy or overhead you prepared of the "Important Points" Graphic Organizer 1 (see Preparation, Step 3). Refer students to the questions along the top row of the chart and write your name above the questions.

8. Choose a student to ask you each of the questions that are along the top of the chart. Answer the questions, and write your responses in the appropriate cells.

9. Direct students to note that the last cell in the top row is blank. Ask them to come up with one more question they would like to ask you. Record your response to their question in the appropriate cell on the graphic organizer.

10. Using a large sheet of chart paper and working as a whole class, construct a poem about yourself based on the structure of The Important Book. Begin by asking students how the first line should read. Their response should be "The important thing about [your name] is...." (Refer them to the chart to choose something to include here.)

11. Continue this process by having students compose the middle of the poem, using the graphic organizer as a reference. Then ensure that the last line reads, "But the important thing about [your name] is [repeat text from the first line]."

12. Distribute blank copies of the "Important Points" Graphic Organizer 1 to each student. Ask students to work with a partner to fill in the graphic organizer about each other, similar to how you did with the whole class.

13. Refer students back to the structure used in Brown's book and the class poem they created about you, and ask them to draft a poem about their partner using the graphic organizer they just completed as a reference. Let students know that they will be working through the writing process, and that this version is just a draft.

14. Allow students time to draft their poems and share them with their partners.

15. Circulate while students are working to offer assistance as necessary. In addition, choose one draft poem to use in Session 2. You will want a draft that follows the correct structure closely and uses appropriate and varied vocabulary. Ensure that the student is comfortable with your using his or her work as a model with the class. Alternately, you can prepare another poem yourself about another teacher or one of your family members. You may wish to include a couple of spelling errors and leave opportunities for students to improve the final version.

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Session 2

1. Prepare a large chart or overhead of the draft poem you selected (or wrote yourself) in Session 1. Post it for students to read to themselves or read it aloud to them.

2. Ask students if the author has followed the structure appropriately. For each response, ask them, "How do you know?" Record their responses on the board or on chart paper.

3. Ask students what the draft poem needs to prepare it for publication. Responses might include the correction of spelling and punctuation errors, the inclusion of more interesting words, and so on. Record their responses.

4. Show students the Assessment Rubric you have prepared (see Preparation, Step 5). Ask them to look at the first and second categories only (i.e., text structure and evidence of research) and rate their own drafts. Then tell them to put their drafts in their writing folders so that they can return to them at a later date.

5. Tell students they are going to write new poems to describe important things about butterflies, following the same steps they did to write the poems about their partners. This time they will be using the Internet to research information about butterflies.

6. Using a data projector connected to a computer with Internet access, show students the http://ikeepbookmarks.com/nancydrew/ website or your own iKeepBookmarks.com website with links to the sites about butterflies that you have chosen for students to view.

7. Tell students that they are going to visit the websites on this page and gather information about butterflies to use in their writing. Remind them that the title of their poem will be "The Important Thing About Butterflies," so they should be researching the websites for important information.

8. Distribute a blank copy of the "Important Points" Graphic Organizer 2 to each student. Guide them to recognize that this organizer is similar to the one they used in Session 1, except there are no questions filled in across the top. Tell students that they will be developing these questions together as a class.

9. Work with students to develop a few research questions. To assist them in developing good questions, refer back to the discussion you had in Session 1 regarding "important things," in particular when you talked about students' pets. Initially, accept any questions they suggest. Then go through a process of discussing each question and deciding as a group which ones would be the most important to find out about a butterfly. It is important for students to understand that, when designing questions for research, you cannot answer all questions. Good scientists try to answer the questions they think most people would want to know the answers to. The following questions are recommended, but feel free to omit those you do not feel are pertinent and add your own:

  • What is a butterfly?

  • What does it eat?

  • Where does it live?

  • What are some types of butterflies?
Direct students to write one question in each of the cells across the top row of their graphic organizer. You may need to model this on chart paper as they are working on their sheets.

10. Provide time for students to visit the websites available at the iKeepBookmarks.com site. If you do not have access to a computer lab or there are not enough computers for every student, have students:
  • Work in pairs

  • Begin a K-W-L Chart (What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I Learned) about butterflies

  • Use a selection of books (see the Butterfly Booklist) to begin their research
11. Emphasize that students are to visit all of the websites listed, even if they find the answers to their questions on the first site. This is always a good idea, as the information found on the Internet is not always accurate and it is important to use several sources to verify the information they find.

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Session 3

1. Allow students time to complete their Internet research and finish filling in their "Important Points" Graphic Organizer 2.

2. Inform students that they will be using the information they found through their research to compose a poem about butterflies, using a similar structure as was used in The Important Book.

3. Review the expected structure of the poem by rereading and examining excerpts from the book and the sample poem students created as a class in Session 1.

4. Review the Assessment Rubric introduced in Session 2.

5. Have students develop drafts of their poems, using the graphic organizers they filled in while researching on the Internet.

6. After revising and editing the drafts, have students write and illustrate their finished poems. Have them also use the assessment rubric to evaluate their own poems before turning them in.

7. After all of the poems have been collected, bind them into a book to be placed in the classroom library.

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  • Poems can be published in a word-processing program, such as Microsoft Publisher or Word.

  • Students can self-select a topic for their poem.

  • To further develop their media literacy skills, students could be asked to use specific criteria to evaluate several websites placed in the Web-based bookmarking folder.

  • Although this lesson has the teacher selecting the topic for the poems, it is very open ended. Students could each choose a mammal to write about, a historical figure, a weather phenomenon, etc. The teacher would need to bookmark websites accordingly.

  • Students could develop their own Web-based bookmarks based on teacher or class suggestions.

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  • To assess students' participation and responses during the read-aloud and discussion portions of Session 1, use the Observation Checklist provided. Note that this checklist is open ended, allowing it to be used in many group situations.

  • To assess students' computer skills and their abilities to access Web-based bookmarks, circulate while students are working on the computers and ask them the questions provided on the Media Skills Conferencing Form. Please note that you would not attempt to use this form with all students at this time. Select a few students to evaluate during each Internet research project you conduct, making sure to conference with all students at least once throughout the school year. If you do not foresee future opportunities for students to participate in Internet research, you may opt to have students conference with one another using this form.

  • Use the Assessment Rubric to evaluate students' finished poems.


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