Research is a very important part of the learning process. Today's students must graduate prepared to compete in an information and technology-driven world. They must have good critical reading, writing, thinking, and problem-solving skills. Schools and school districts are responding to these demands, and school library programs can play important roles in helping students develop the skills necessary for success in the 21st century work world. Teachers and librarians can collaborate on lessons and/or units that combine classroom and library resources in ways that reinforce classroom curriculum and provide students opportunities to develop strong research skills. Two methods that are often used are the Big 6 and the Super 3. See below for more information on these two methods.
The Big 6 is a 6-stage model that can be used to solve any problem, question, or assignment by locating and using information in an effective way. It is generally used with older students (3rd-5th grade). The steps are listed and explained below. The skills that students practice when they use the Big 6 model are ones that they can use throughout their education and throughout life in general.
Although these steps are presented in one order, it is not always necessary, nor does it always make sense, to complete them in this order. People tend to use these steps whether they realize it or not when they are presented with questions or problems to solve, but they tend to do so in a cyclical manner. They may skip some steps, revisit others, and spend longer on some steps than other steps. It is the skills students develop while completing these steps that is most important.
The Big6™ Skills
1. Task Definition1.1 Define the information problem
1.2 Identify information needed
2. Information Seeking Strategies
2.1 Determine all possible sources
2.2 Select the best sources
3. Location and Access
3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)
3.2 Find information within sources
4. Use of Information
4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)
4.2 Extract relevant information
5.1 Organize from multiple sources
5.2 Present the information
6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)
6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)
Like the Big 6, the Super 3 is a problem-solving process. Younger students (Kinder- 2nd grade) may find it easier to use this model because of its simplicity.
The Super3 Steps!
What am I supposed to do?
What do I need to get the job done?
What do I want it to look like when I'm done?
I must locate the things I will need - books, web articles, magazine articles, etc.
I need to ask questions, read, and take notes.
I need to use the information I find to create something and show what I know.
Did I do what I was supposed to do?
Do I feel ok about this?
Should I do something else before I turn it in?