Research Building Blocks: Examining Electronic Sources

Children are naturally curious#151;they want to know "how" and "why." Teaching research skills can help students find answers for themselves. "Examining Electronic Sources," taken from a research skills unit, is a step towards students completing a written report. Students first look at examples of a Website that offers relevant resources, as well as a Website with less useful resources. Then, on their own they identify resources they think would be beneficial in their research and others that would not. As a group, students discuss the criteria they used in selecting or discounting sources. They then create a checklist to guide their future searches. Finally, students find another site they think might be beneficial and evaluate the site using the class-created checklist. This web resource helps students to evaluate and compare Internet resources as they conduct research.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • use an organizational system to locate information.
  • analyze information for a project.
  • determine the accuracy, currency, and reliability of materials from various sources.
  • identify appropriate resources to solve problems or answer questions through research.
  • choose and analyze information sources for individual, academic and functional purposes.
  • discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information.
  • select and organize information from various sources for a specific purpose.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

Have the students practice searching for information on the Web doing a State Scavenger Hunt. [Note: This hunt is for the state of Illinois, but the Yahoo site mentioned covers all fifty states.]

Helpful Hints


  • Examining Electronic Sources


  • Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids
  • Illinois State Government Investigation
  • Kid Safe Search Sites
  • Merriam-Webster OnLine
  • Research Building Blocks: Hints about Print