Here are some tips and some web sites to help you gather your information using the Internet:
1. Use search engines like Yahoo, Google, Bing to name a few
a. You can type an actual question to search for the answers
b. Make sure your question has the specific info you need without being too literal
i. Example: Some of you were trying to find out: What are six foods that the pilgrims ate on the ship? You may want to change it a little to “What did they eat on the Mayflower?”
The second question is more specific because you are asking for all foods they ate on the Mayflower, not just any ship. You are also requesting ANY food because some sites may not list “the six” foods.
Another example is the question that asked; “What did the master use to keep the ships on course?” What master? What ships?
A better question might be: “How was the Mayflower kept on course?” or “How did they steer the Mayflower?”
c. Be careful of the first few web sites that show up. The first one might be wikipedia, or wiki-answers and we discussed how anyone can add info and the editors may not catch it right away. (All of the editors are volunteers, not people paid to edit the site). You can use these sites, but check your information with another web site to make sure it says the same thing.
3. Don’t try to answer the questions in order. If you are on a page that may have more information, do a “scan” of the page to check. A scan is where you don’t read the complete paragraph but you look for key words. For example, if you know you have a question that asks about the types of houses a tribe built but your web page talks about the food they ate, just look through the information for the word “houses”, or “homes” and you may find what you need.
4. Watch out for ads on the web searches and web pages. MOST of the information on the Internet is free for us to use as we see fit. SOMEONE has to pay to maintain the web sites and make sure the search engines can find the most recent information. So, the people/companies paying for the site you are viewing will attempt to take you to their web site where you can purchase their product.
5. Some informational sites might look as though they will have a lot of the information you need for current or future reports but they might need a paid subscription. Make sure you and your parents try to get as much info as possible about the site before you pay. Some will automatically charge you for another month or year without letting you know first. Make sure you know how long the subscription lasts! You might think you are paying for a year when it is only a month. You might think it is for one month when it is actually a short trial period. There are some really nice ones but research them first.
Some free web sites:
-(Lots of “stuff” to weed through but this link takes you to a list of subjects)
-(This site will list additional kids search sites)
When you need information that you can’t find in those web sites or search engines, use Google or Yahoo to do another search. When this is necessary, HAVE YOUR PARENTS WITH YOU! Or at least ask them if it is all right to do the search. In school we have many of the “bad” sites blocked so you cannot see them. At home your parents may not have those filters turned on so they need to know what you are doing.