The Big 6 is an information problem-solving approach developed by Michael B. Eisenberg and Robert E. Berkowitz. It is the most popular model for information skills. It includes the following steps:

  • Task definition
  • Information seeking strategies
  • Location and access
  • Use of information
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

eye means readGo to The Big 6 website.The Big 6 model focuses on problem-solving across the curriculum. The website provides background information and lots of lesson and activity ideas. Go to the Overview page to explore the history and major areas.

View Big 6 Introduction (Real Media - 1:00).

Bob Berkowitz provides an introduction to the Big 6 information problem-solving process.

(Go to the Real website to download a free player. Scroll to the bottom of the page (or in the upper right hand corner) and download the FREE player, NOT the 14 day trial player. It's available for both Windows and Macs.)

eye means readRead The Big Six Information Skills As a Metacognitive Scaffold: A Case Study by Sara Wolf, Thomas Brush, and John Saye. SLMR, 6, 2003.

Super 3

Although The Big 6 only includes six steps, some primary teachers find it overwhelming for their young learners. As a result, teachers have developed modified versions to meet their needs. Eisenberg and Berkowitz have developed a version called the Super 3 for very young children. It includes three steps:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

The Super3 by T.J. Little -- early childhood version of The Big6 Skill written by Eisenberg and Berkowitz

Big 6 In Action

  • Bright Bird - A Problem-Solving Allegory from Redlands College Library (Australia)
    Online PowerPoint presentation provides a simple example on the use of Big6 to solve a problem (you'll also learn how to make a bird nest!)

Online Resources

Print Resources

Eisenberg, M. B. & Berkowitz, R. E. (1990). Information Problem-solving: The Big Six Skills Approach to Library and Information Skills Instruction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Eisenberg, M. B. & Berkowitz, R. E. (1999). Teaching Information & Technology Skills: The Big6 in Elementary Schools. Worthington, OH: Linworth.

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Created by Annette Lamb, 8/03. Updated 1/05.