Adult Ed
Use the new Internet Library for Adult Learners


OverviewActivities


Intro Activity 1: Intro to firstfind.info.
Intro Activity 2: Using an Online Dictionary.
Activity 1: Exploring firstfind.info
Activity 2: Web Site Reviews
Activity 3: Answering Questions
Culminating Activity Writing to firstfind.info


Intro Activity 1: Intro to firstfind.info.

In this activity, the teacher gives a demonstration of how to use firstfind.info.

Step 1Ask students to go to http://www.firstfind.info. Read the introduction to your students or have them read it silently.

Step 1 Ask students to click on “Enter the firstfind.info library”

Step 3 Review the list of subject areas. You might want to have students print out the list. You can write the list of topics on the board if you like. Ask students to tell you what they would expect to find in each area.

Step 4 Ask students to suggest a subjects area for the group to review

Step 5 Guide students through an exploration of the subject: “click here…click here…click here…” Read sections of what’s on the screen or ask them to read sections to the group. Share your thought process with them as you look through the sites: “Hmmmm… ‘jobs’ sounds interesting…let’s click here…what other topics are here?…this one sounds good…” etc…

Step 6 Go deep into the site. Use the “back” button to get back out. Explain what you are doing and why as you go along.

Step 7 Keep on touring the sight, but ask students to give suggestions of where to click. Ask them for subjects, questions, and comments.

Step 8 To review, ask students to write what they think of firstfind.info and how to class got introduced to it through this activity.


Intro Activity 2: Using an Online Dictionary.

Step 1 Ask students to enter the firstfind library and click on the dictionary button.

Step 2It is easier to learn how to use the dictionary if you start with words the students know. Ask students to suggest words that they know already to see how the dictionary works.

Step 3Enter the suggested words and talk students through using the dictionary.

Step 4 Then ask for some words they are not sure of the meaning or spelling of. You can also suggest difficult words if students have problems coming up with suggestions.

Step 5 Ask students to look up the unknown words in the dictionary. If you want to use the dictionary for spelling, you can’t write the words on the blackboard. Have students spell them the best that they can. Some or all of your students should be able to find them as the dictionary searches.

Step 6 Talk about the dictionary’s definitions. The firstfind dictionary is pretty straightforward, but sometimes dictionary definitions are hard to understand.


Activity 1: Exploring firstfind.info

Step 1Tell students they have 10 minutes to freely explore firstfind.info and to find one Web site that they like.

Step 2Offer several different ways they can record sites they like such as writing down the URL, using the back button, bookmarking. Tell students they have to pick a way to get back to the site they liked the best.

Step 3Move around the room and talk to students about what they are finding. Good questions to ask can be simple: “What is this?” “What do you think of this?,” “Show me something you liked or did not like.”

Step 4 At the end of the ten minutes, each student brings the site they liked up on their screen.

Step 5Have each student take a clean sheet of paper and write the URL of the site and the name of the site.

Step 6Underneath the URL they wrote, each student should write a note to the class about why they picked the site they chose. What do they like about it? What did they learn from it?

Step 7 For the rest of the class, the students should move from computer to computer in an orderly fashion, reviewing the site on each computer and writing a response on the sheet. Give students a set amount of time at each site. Only take a few minutes to view each site and write the response. Make sure each student has the screen back to the URL written at the top of the page before moving on. This should be a very active and fast-moving activity.

Step 8 Remind students to check that the URL in the address box is the same as the one written on the page. As students move around the room, remind them to read all the comments on the sheet. They can respond to all the written remarks.

Step 9 Have students circulate for about half an hour. Then have each student go back to their original computer to read the list of responses.

Step 10 Ask each student to take another look at the site after reading the remarks and write a final remark to sum it all up.


Activity 2: Web Site Reviews

Step 1 Using the response sheets from Activity One and their own opinions, ask students to answer a couple of questions about the site they chose:
  • What is this site? (What is it for? What is included? Etc….)
  • What do they like about the site?
  • What do other people like about the site?
  • Are there any negative things about the site?

Step 2 Ask students to pick out two of three comments from the response sheet to use as quotes about the site. Give an example to show how you can excerpt from a comment—that you don’t have to use all of it.

Step 3Ask students to write a review of their site using the answers to the questions above and at least one quote about the site.

Step 4 Put all the reviews together on a bulletin board, in a booklet, or online if your class has a Web site.


Activity 3: Answering Questions

Step 1 Have each group write down three questions that they are interested in answering. Move around the room and review the questions. If a question is too general, encourage students to get a little more specific. If a question is too superficial, push them to go deeper. Turn “yes or no” questions into “why” or “how” questions. For example, “Can I get a job as a bus driver?” can become “What qualifications are needed to become a bus driver?”

Step 2 Allow each group time to explore their questions, taking notes, and discussing what they have found. Encourage students to note any interesting information they find that may not be an answer to their questions.

Step 3Ask each group to present the most interesting or helpful question and answer they found.


Culminating Activity: Writing to firstfind.info

Step 1 Have a group discussion about firstfind
  • What did students like about it?
  • What did they not like?
  • What subjects interested them?
  • Are there any topics that should be added to firstfind?
  • What suggestions do students have to make firstfind better or easier?

Step 2 After the discussion, have students fill in the firstfind feedback form: “Did you find what you were looking for?”

Step 3Before you send in the feedback, ask for any volunteers to read their feedback to the group.

Step 4 Send the feedback into firstfind.info.


Extensions

Deeper Research:
If you’ve done the lessons in this unit, you’ve probably been all over and across many curricula. firstfind can help you and your students go deeper into other areas.
  1. Have students pick an area in firstfind to explore more deeply. It can be a subject they have already looked at or a new subject.
  2. Give students 15 minutes to explore. Ask them to take notes when they come across something interesting.
  3. Ask students to write a narrative about what they learned. A good way to write this is for students to tell the story of their search for information. It can help students to use a guide like this:
    --I wanted to find out more about this subject because….
    --First, I looked here. Next I looked here. Then I looked here….
    --This is what I learned…
    --This is what surprised me…
    Students don’t need to rigidly fill in those blanks. The guide is just intended to show them how to tell the story of their search.
  4. Share the stories in groups or pairs. Ask students to read stories to the whole group.
  5. Revise and edit.