Random Thoughts

Start The Year By Teaching Search

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Search!As the new school year is upon us and I find myself not in a school for the first time since I started Preschool so many years ago, I was thinking about what I would be doing if I was starting this school year teaching a class of 4th graders (still my favorite grade). There would be all the usual ice breaker activities that teachers use to start building community in their classrooms and then soon enough the lessons would begin.

I would take the first week to try and build some skills and expectations that we would be using all year long. I believe one of the most valuable skills I can teach my students is the skill of search.

It doesn’t matter what the content is, what unit we would be in, or what other standards we needed to meet before the year’s end. What matters most is a foundation in search. I would teach search skills the first week and then build upon them week after week. This, I feel, would put my students in a place that not only would they be able to start learning for themselves but they would be building a life skill that is critical from now until we get chips planted in our brains that can read our thoughts and search for us (which I think would be really cool).

So in honor of all you teachers out there that are starting another school year, I thought I would create search lesson plans for you to use within the first month of school. Over the next four days I’ll be releasing a lesson plan a day here on my blog that you will be able to download in PDF form or make a copy of in a Google Doc to edit and tweak to your liking. I will create a lesson plan tailored for K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. They will be pretty generic in form in hopes that you will be able to adapt it to your school, classroom, or situation.

All that I ask in return is that you let me know via a comment, an e-mail or your own reflective blog posts how the lesson went, what adaptations you made to it, and if you changed it. I would ask that you share that lesson plan somewhere on the web for others to use as well. All the lesson plans will be released under a Creative Commons 3.0 License.

Google Doc Format

K – 2 Lesson Plan

3 – 5 Lesson Plan

6-8 Lesson Plan

9-12 Lesson Plan


PDF Format

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Anxiously waiting…I won’t just use them with my students but as well as with teachers. Thanks!

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  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was having a conversation about this very issue just yesterday – particularly with respect to students arriving at university without the necessary skills for research, and the need for universities to play a role in educating future teachers so they can pass these skills on to their students.

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  7. Naomi Wicki Reply

    Thanks for the info. I am taking a course on librarianship and we are looking at teaching website evaluation. Your lessons are a great resource.

  8. Pingback: 3 Connected Classroom Steps for the first week of school. | Eduro Learning

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