Internet Research 4th-8th Grades
by Barbara Bray and Nicole Moore

Searching Engines and Subject Directories
Web-Based Activities
Create Your Own Activity




Research on the Internet can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating. We created this website so 4th-8th grade teachers have a place to start. There are many more research and content sites that we could have included. We want to help you have some control of the Internet by starting with just enough information to help you take the next step to create your own research projects.




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Searching Engines and Subject Directories

Choose at least two of the search tools below, type in "Constitution":

Search Engines Subject Directories

Librarian's Index to the Internet

Northernlight Kidsclick
Vivisimo Yahoo
Alltheweb Yahooligans

Fill out the Chart Below with what you found:

Search Tool Used Number of Hits Relevance to Topic Special Attributes of Tool Concerns about Tool


Open search.doc to type in directly into a Word document.

Try typing in "Constitushun" in any of the search tools to see what happens.

Go to AltaVista or Go and do the same search. What you will find is that more search engines are selling services to companies and placing them higher in the search results. This is also a concern for Yahoo and some of the other tools listed above. This is where you need to emphasize good tools for evaluating relevancy and validity of the site. Go to Wolfgram-Memorial Library Web Evaluation Site on your own time.

OUSD Urban Dreams Project has put together a rich resource of search tools and strategies OUSD Search the Internet.

Searching Tools Chart
Use the tools chart to learn more about Boolean Operators and searching with combinations of phrases and words. Try looking up "chocolate chip cookie recipes". Then try to narrow the choices by eliminating all white chocolate recipes by put -white at the end of recipes. Share one yummy recipe with another.

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To become more proficient with search engines and subject directories, review one or more of the tutorials listed below on your own time.

KidsClick Searching Tutorial
Choose the Best Information for Your Search
Deb Flanagan's Web Searching Strategies
Searching the Internet: Recommended Sites and Search Techniques
Successful Searching Strategies


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Web-Based Activities

1. With so much content-rich material on the web, spend a few minutes exploring one web-based activity that we have found for you.

Adventures at Dry Creek

  1. Can you use this site with your students?
  2. What do you like about this site?
  3. What are your concerns about this site?

2. Using the collections below of web-based activities, find one or more lessons that you can use with your students right away.

The WebQuest Page

Blue Web'n from Pacific Bell

SCORE CyberGuides

Library of Congress Learning Page

PBS. org

Title URL Subject Area/
Grade Level
When and Where Do You Plan to Use This How with Specific Classroom Organization

Download web.doc to use with activity above.

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Create Your Own Web-Based Activity

Find one or two content sites to be used in the activity. Using the content rich sites below, develop your own simple one page web activity that you can use with your students immediately. Advanced students may want to find their own sites based on a topic they are teaching.

History/Social Science
Language Arts
Arts and Other Sites
Oakland Unified School District's 4th-8th H/SS Internet Resources Nine Planets Math Forum Carol Hurst's Literature Site Music Sites
African Voices Jason Project Census Bureau Reader's Theatre National Gallery of Art
Discoverer's Web Human Body Math Resources Poetry Page Art Room


Open Microsoft Word so it is in the background behind the browser. You can copy and paste URLs from the browser to your document quickly. At the end of this web Internet research activity, you should have a one page web activity on Word with the following components:

  1. Place for Student Name and Date
  2. Instructions for Activity
  3. Website Title(s) and URL(s)
  4. Questions or activities associated with website(s)


Email the lesson with the Word document attached to Barbara and Nicole.

Place in email your name, school, grade level, and subject area. If you are really ambitious, check out the California content standards or search the database of for your state standards and put in the email the standard(s) aligned to the activity.

Feedback on this activity is welcome and can be included in the email.
Barbara and Nicole



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Created January 2002 for an Oakland Unified School District Workshop
Developed by Barbara Bray, Computer Strategies, LLC and Nicole Moore, consultant for OUSD

Searching Engines and Subject Directories
Web-Based Activities
Create Your Own Activity