Fourth grade students have been conducting research for their Planet Panels project in library class. They spent the first few weeks of school discussing and practicing research. Specifically, they learned to use the FINDS research method.
The FINDS research method is comprised of the following steps:
Focus on the information needed
The students learned about various sources of information, including websites, books, videos, and even a person who is an authority on a topic. They also learned to identify credible sources. They were even shown website created by teachers to look real but with false information. Students are taught to us think critically when examining a source of information and also to think about an authors purpose in presenting the information.
Students were split into groups and each group selected a planet or other topic relating to space. Some groups have chosen topics like the future of space travel, the Milky Way, and the Unicorn Constellation." They used credible websites (i.e not Wikipedia) along with library books to research their topics.
The groups will use research to become authorities on their topics and then take part in a panel presentation during which they will present their research along with a claim. For example, a group studying Pluto might make the claim that Pluto should be reinstated as a planet. The audience will then ask them to provide facts to support their claim. This is an opportunity for students to show that they have internalized their research and are able to discuss it while also practicing presentation skills.
“The 4th grade students are engaging with the topics they chose, excited to share facts they are learning, and collaborating with their teammates to make their research process efficient and productive,” Library Specialist Carole Senn said. “We are so proud of how hard they are working.”