information title

Young people need questions to stimulate inquiry and exploration. They need access to facts, data, knowledge, and wisdom. They need guidance in how to select, evaluate, apply, organize, synthesize, and communicate ideas. How do you and your students acquire and use information?

Questions - Access to Guidance

A Northern LightLet's say you and your class are reading A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly or An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. Both books explore a 1906 murder in the Adirondacks of northern New York. The books will stimulate many questions about the time period and the historical events portrayed in the book. Was there really a murder? Were there really love letters? Internet provides a great tool to quickly quench the thirst for information about the actual event. For example, you can read the court case and love letters online. You can view photographs of the real people. Donnelly's website even has

Learners need… questions

What do I know?
What do I need to know?
What do I want to know?
Who cares? Why should I care?
What are my interests?

Use web resources to stimulate ideas. For example, Ease History provides an online environment to explore multimedia resources including historical events, campaign ads, and core values or themes such as conflict, unity, freedom, and reform. Users can easily view and compare videos and background information about historical events. This visual and auditory environment is a wonderful resource for generating questions and provides the foundation for inquiry-based activities.

Tools such as Inspiration and Kidspiration provide tools for visualizing questions and ideas.

Try It!
Select a video from Ease History. Use Inspiration or Kidspiration to brainstorm and organize questions about the time period and context of this video. Try the Kidspiration Question Wheel.

Use to learn more about questioning in the classroom.

Explore other websites that might use video to stimulate questioning:

Learners need… access

Museums, libraries, collaborative projects, and agencies all provide quality access to information.

  1. Government Resources:,
  2. Government Agencies: NOAA (NOAA Kids), NASA, CDC, USGS, NIH, NPS, EPA
  3. Public Resources: PBS, PBSKids, PBS Teachers, PBS Teen/Adult Programming, BBC (BBC Children, BBC Learning, BBC Schools ), CBC, NPR, ( for Students)
  4. Organizations: NWF enature, All About Birds
  5. Libraries and Archives: Teacher Tap - Library of Congress (American Memory, Kids and Families) ,National Archives - Online Exhibits, Canada's Digital Collections
  6. Museums: Teacher Tap - Smithsonian, American Museum of Nature History ( Resources for Learning , Ology)
  7. Interactives - Flash Projects
  8. Pathfinders - 42explore, Emints - alphabetically, by grade level, Pathfinder Links
  9. Directories - ALA 800, Kathy Schrock's Guide, Homework Center from Multnomah County Library, Kid's Click, Internet Public Library, Content Coliseum
  10. By Teachers for Teachers - Web English Teacher
  11. By Kids for Kids - ThinkQuest
  12. Content Areas - Teacher Tap
  13. Teachers - 4teachers, Discovery School Lesson Plans, National Geographic Lesson Plans, Scholastic - Teachers, Librarians
  14. Teaching and technology - Apple Learning Interchange - great examples of technology applications
  15. Find more links at Starting Points and Lesson Plans from Teacher Tap

For example, ARKive is a great website featuring images of life on earth including photographs, text, and videos.

Teacher Tap: Digital and Virtual Field Trips
Teacher Tap: Digital and Virtual Libraries
Teacher Tap: Digital and Virtual Museums
Teacher Tap: Educational Portals and Starting Points
Teacher Tap: Lesson Plans
Teacher Tap: Content Rich Sites
Teacher Tap: Primary Resources and Real-World Data

Try It!
Use the ARKive or another online digital archive to stimulate questions or provide quality information. Create a Word Workspace that includes the web link along with guiding questions, directions, and/or project criteria. Or, create a sample project that could be used as a guide.

Learners need… guidance

Students need guidance in sorting, selecting, applying, organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating. For example, let's say your students are working on geography social studies standards examining how cities change over time. The One Planet Many People website contains visuals that can be used to compare cities over time such as Las Vegas in 1973 and 2000. Questioning can be used to help students examine the visuals. For example, what changes do you observe? What are the implications? Create a chart comparing and contrasting the two photos.

Check out the Google Earth (Before and After) Katrina photos.

Search history databases for "then and now" use HistoryLink as an example.

Explore other "then and now" websites:

Try It!
Design a comparison activity. Use Inspiration to help guide the comparison. Try concept map tools online such as Thinkature or Gliffy if you don't have Inspiration.

Information Essential
“I can meet my information needs.”

Developed by Annette Lamb, 6/05. Updated 6/07.