Sample student activities

The following pages give examples of some of the activities which students could carry out at teach step of the information process.

The activities suggested for each step vary in the level of information skills and understanding required. Activities are best selected according to the known levels of students. For example, a given student could be capable of operating independently at quite a sophisticated level in the Defining and Locating phases, but may only be able to operate, with guidance, and at a much simpler level, in the Selecting and Organising stages.

See also the Information skills matrix K–6 and Information skills matrix 7–10 for additional teaching ideas to use or adapt.

Sample activities include:

  • Brainstorm, with teacher guidance, questions which set guidelines for the task (e.g. Where did they live? What did they wear?)
  • Say back to the teacher what the task is (“I need to find out about…”)
  • Identify key words in a question with the help of teacher/other students
  • Identify and define key words of the task, using dictionary, encyclopaedia as necessary
  • Work in a small group to identify and cluster key words
  • In a small group, identify sub-topics which set directions for the task; assign different sub-topics to members of the group for investigation
  • Independently
    • decide on the limits of the task
    • identify key words and sub-topics and confirm with teacher if necessary.

Sample activities include:

  • Outline own knowledge of the topic
  • Outline own knowledge of the topic and decide whether more information is needed
  • Brainstorm alternative search words
  • Respond to teacher questions
    • “What do you know about …?
    • “What are other things that you need to find out about…?
  • With teacher guidance, talk about/draw up a list of places to look for information (“Who do I ask?” “Where do I go?”)
  • Contribute to a class list of sources which includes a wide range of materials, e.g. online, audio, and in print
  • Make up a search plan, charting sources and locations according to the information process
  • Use library catalogues in school and public libraries
  • Use electronic information e.g. websites, DVDs, online databases, CD-ROMs, webcasts, podcasts
  • Use simple library finding aids such as signage, pathfinders and shelf labels
  • Locate journal articles by using the library catalogue, websites and databases
  • Find and use appropriate equipment e.g. DVD player, listening post equipment
  • Find more than one source and format of information for the task e.g. website, book, DVD
  • Choose appropriate sources from own experience of the full range of resources and on the basis of the information each source offers.

Sample activities include

  • Use cover/packaging information of source to decide on appropriateness of resource
  • Use reviews, descriptions, search result outlines to decide on relevance of resource
  • Use simple contents pages or outlines to select relevant information
  • Skim and scan using subheadings in books and sections of websites
  • Select the appropriate picture from a range of pictures
  • From a narration/description (listened to or read) use context clues to predict, confirm information
  • Recognise fact, opinion, fiction, decide which is required
  • Find answers in more than one source to key questions of the task
  • Use more than one medium (e.g. DVD, audio, book, internet)
  • Write/tell the teacher key words or ideas from source(s)
  • Develop a note-taking system, selected from a range of options, including electronic
  • Compare and evaluate information from different sources
  • Use own fully developed range of information skills to select, sort and record information
  • Confirm results of selecting and sorting with teacher/peers/work group.

Sample activities include:

  • Answer the question “Why am I doing this?” (refer to purpose step)
  • Discard irrelevant information after reviewing purpose or task
  • In a small group, compare answers found in sources and refer back to purpose of the task
  • With guidance, combine answers found in more than one source into sentence(s), paragraph(s)
  • Take key words/ideas and combine them into whole thoughts
  • Group related thoughts
  • Use tables, spreadsheets, databases, as appropriate
  • Use information collected to develop own hypothesis or argument
  • Outline the structure of the completed task
  • Review task structure with teacher/work group/peer/parent
  • Check against the purpose of the task. Adjust as necessary.

Sample activities include:

  • Brainstorm possible presentation forms e.g. PowerPoint, video, picture book, podcast; select appropriate form and experiment, with guidance
  • Use teacher, parent or peer as a sounding-board for presentation of ideas
  • Choose a presentation style most suited to purpose, audience and content of material
  • Contribute to a class picture, model, video, website etc.
  • Write a simple sentence and illustrate it
  • Draw a picture and label with key words which summarise findings, explain the picture to others
  • With guidance, make a model in a group, based on finding. Use sentences, paragraph to explain the model
  • With guidance, learn how to compile and present a report/essay/talk etc.
  • Develop skills in an unfamiliar presentation style
  • Prepare presentation using a range of oral, written, graphic, media skills as appropriate.

Sample activities include:

  • Brainstorm “Steps that we took to do this task” and put them into sequence. Analyse the steps, using questions such as “How did we make up our answer?” “What could we do next time?”
  • Respond to the questions
    • “What was easy?”
    • “What was hard?”
    • “What did I learn?”
    • “What could we do next time?”
  • Respond to questions from the audience regarding content of the presentation
  • Analyse audience responses to the presentation
  • Analyse a written critique of the presentation
  • Consider information process and own performance of each step:
    • “I’m good at …”
    • “I need to improve on …”
    • “I can improve by …”
    • “I learnt …”
  • Consult with the teacher about ways to improve skills
  • Analyse strengths and weaknesses of argument/content. If necessary, rethink information process…
  • Talk about the task with other students/teacher.
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