Today in a second grade class we talked about how to navigate a website. It was the start of an animal unit where students will be studying animals of the grasslands. The students using the National Geographic Kids site which is a great little site to teach kids to research.

Here are the questions I used to talk about navigating a web site:

  • Can you find the advertisements on this site?
  • Do we click on ads? Why? Why Not?
  • How do you go back on the Internet?
  • How can you tell if a website opens in a new tab?
  • How do you delete a tab?
  • Where is the main navigation on this site?
  • How do you know that?

After about a 10 minute mini-lesson on the above points the students went off and explored the website by themselves. Too often we just go right into the structured lessons and do not allow students to explore. It’s like picking up a book at the book store or in the library. We browse it first, read a page here, look at pictures there. Giving students time to click, look, read, watch, click again gets them use to the site. After this “explore time” I find kids to be much more focused on a lesson.

These are the research skills of today, these are the literacy skills that when I told a 4th grade teacher what we were doing today in 2nd grade she was excited that she would soon be getting kids that already have these skills. That’s when you know you’re doing the right thing.