Information Literacy: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever had to do a report or look up information on a specific topic? In this lesson, you will learn how to find information that you need for reports or to solve problems. You will also learn how to use the information that you find.

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is a process, or a series of steps, to use when you need information to complete a project or solve a problem. It means knowing what information you need, finding it, and deciding if it is good information or not.

Let's say you're assigned a project on Wolfgang Mozart. You don't know anything about him, except that he has something to do with music. What do you do first?

What Information Do You Need?

The first step is figuring out what information you need. What is it about Mozart that you want to find out? Do you want to learn all about his life? About his music? You need to decide what information you should gather. Plan before you start hunting for information or you'll waste time gathering information you don't need.

Start by brainstorming. Think about what you might want to learn about Mozart. Since it's a person you're researching, you might want to find out about his lifeā€”for example, where and when he was born. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can and write down everything you think of that you might want to find out. Write a list of questions that you want to answer.

How Can You Find Information You Need?

The next step is to find the information. There are many sources, or places to get information. Start with the library to check the books they have about Mozart. You should also check the encyclopedia.

Use the library

Remember to keep your plan in mind. Are you looking for information about Mozart's life or about his music? When you find information that answers questions on your brainstormed list, write it down. Be sure to write down the name of the source you used for the information, so that you can find it again later if you need it.

You might also use the Internet to find information. Use a search engine, such as Google, to get started. Type in the topic, such as Mozart, and many websites should come up. Be sure to keep track of the ones you use to answer your questions.

Is the Information True?

One important thing to know is whether the information is true. How can you tell? Keep these tips in mind:

  • Try to find the same information in more than one source. If the same information is in two or more sources, it's more likely to be true.
  • Is the information in a published book? Information published in books is usually verified, but not always. Try to find that second source with the same information to make sure!

Use the Internet

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