Monday, August 19, 2013

Are Your Students Sleuthing?

Detectives, investigators, criminal prosecutors and auditors all have one thing in common:  They presume guilt.   They assume there is something wrong and look for the evidence on their side. That same mode of operation should be used while "investigating" on the web. Are your students sleuthing?

This generation enjoys criminal series, wants to study forensics, and genuinely has their interest heightened by criminal investigations.  Librarians can tap into this innate curiosity by using similar language and embracing a detective MO when searching for information.  Why not use this as a ploy to remind your students to "consider the source!"  

Another CCSS sleuthing idea we can capitalize on is to use detective riddles to compel students to read closely, re-read closely again, and re-read and discuss a detective riddle looking carefully for details.  If you examine the old Donald Sobol, Two Minute Mysteries, you will likely find a number of fine literary specimens which:
  • have rich vocabulary words (SAT words)
  • present intriguing detective scenarios
  • provide an opportunity for reading, discussion, higher level thought, and more goals aligned with the CCSS. 
Before you know it, you have tricked your 4th, 5th, or 6th  graders into closely reading a short passage, multiple times, sleuthing for evidence in the text.  If you choose your passage carefully, they will read, discuss with their peers, and add vocabulary to their "receptive" or "productive" vocabulary. How's that idea for a 30 minute Common Core aligned library lesson.   

So when you are not "collaborating" with classroom teachers on research endeavors with Internet sleuthing, embrace the tenants of the Common Core and remember you are a teacher yourself. Package a 30 minute Common Core aligned library lesson yourself.

Read Web of Deception to understand why students should be "sleuthing": click here for Google Books link (Yes, this book is older and perhaps "dated" but the premise still holds.  The mere thought of "content farms" should scare teachers into using databases.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment