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Evaluating Websites

Subject: Technology
Grade Level: 4-8
Instructional Time: 2 hrs
Resource/Materials: Internet access, Webpage with links to selected sites, Evaluating Websites worksheets. Can be used in conjunction with Techworks Internet lesson 4 (7th grade)

Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with navigating the internet through links and the "back" button.

Lesson: Just because certain websites are recommended when you do a search does not mean they are equally valuable. This lesson looks at the actual sites suggested by searches for specific subjects, and has the students look through them to evaluate how appropriate they would be to research on that topic.

Before starting the lesson make sure all of the links work on the Webpages provided with the lesson ( Use "Int" for 4-5 grade, "MS" for 6-8). A copy of the webpage can be copied onto each computer for students to easily get to the websites to be evaluated. If you are familiar with web authoring you can change the links on the page to other websites on other topics.

To start the lesson make sure that the students are familiar with the topics of the websites they are supposed to be evaluating (the ones provided are for voyagers for intermediate grades and for the Metis; the descendants of fur traders and Indian women; for the middle school students. Then explain how the different pages are to be evaluated on the evaluation worksheet and have the students go through the different Webpages and fill in their responses on the evaluation worksheet (see below):

Site #____ Name___________ Address_________________________
Appropriate to topic?
Amount of information:
Links to other appropriate sites:
Rating (0-10):

The next step involves having the students in teams discussing their responses to sites they looked at and agreeing on the most and least useful sites using the second worksheet. They will then present their choices in a group discussion.

Assessment: Check quality of answers on "Evaluating Websites" worksheet.

Curriculum Connection: Science, Social Studies

MN State Standard: Resource Management, Inquiry
MPS Grade Level Expectations: 2.4, 3.1

Author: Frank Dewey, Marcy Open School