Thursday, October 24, 2013

Big 6 Research Model

The fourth graders are studying Vertebrate and Invertebrates and the third graders are studying Planets in our Solar System.  This is the first time the third and fourth graders are using the Big 6 Research Model so I created a bit of a checklist/step-by-step process for them.  We are doing much of it together but I plan for them to do it on their own for the next project.

There is a LARGE amount of information about the Big 6 Research Model on the website  The amount of information is in fact, overwhelming.  The best place to start is the Overview.

The Big 6 is of course breaks down finding information into 6 steps:
1. Task Definition
2. Information Seeking Strategies
3. Location and Access
4. Use of Information
5. Synthesis
6. Evaluation

An experienced researcher goes through all these steps and we must teachers our students to do the same. From now on, each and every project I do with third grade and up, we will follow this model.

To make it easier for the students to follow, I broke down each step into smaller questions to follow.
For example, Step 1: Task Definition is broken down into the following questions and table for responses:

Step ONE: Task Definition
Do I understand what my final project will be?
Yes            No
Do I understand the topic that was assigned to me?
Yes            No
What are some keywords or phrases I can use to get the information I need?

What kinds of information will I be searching? (maps, pictures, biographies, graphs)
Types of information:

How am I required to cite the information?

There are few reasons I like this model
First we can discuss the kinds of information students will look at for information, such as text or video, before we discuss the actual source of the material.  This started out a tough task for my students.  The did not see these two things as separate entities until I gave specific examples and practically acted it out for them.

Also, during Step 4, when they are gathering information, students must continuously evaluate each source on its level of difficulty while deciding if it is valuable.  They then must define new keywords if they arise and this forces/allows them continue their research.

For Step 5, they stop and regather themselves for starting their final project.  This is HUGE for many students who rush forward and are not ready or need to recoup.

To get my checklist head over to my TPT store or click here. Let me know if you use it.

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