Research Skills

Use these online resources to help you find, select, and evaluate information.

Kid friendly search engines




Sweet Search

Tin Eye (reverse image search)

Use these before Google!

Trustworthy websites

Academic Kids


Encyclopedia Britannica (public)

Britannica Schools (see librarian/s for log in details)

Q Files Encyclopedia

BrainPop - use school login

Fact Monster

Reference resources

Visuwords (visual dictionary)


  1. Authority
  • who is the author?
  • are they an expert?

2. Objectivity

  • gives only facts and does not try to persuade you

3. Verify!

  • can you prove it?
  • check with another website to confirm the facts
  • material includes a bibliography


  • check the site copyright date and site updated information
  • Information can change!

Fake news

Be skeptical of everything you see, hear, or read!

Satire can include fake news that makes fun of the news.

Some fake news is not satire, however.

Some fake news is intentionally misleading.

Some "real" news is unintentionally misleading.


Incorrect or misleading news

slips into the social media stream and people usually cannot distinguish the "fake" news from the "real" news.


​Always evaluate the author and source.

Be skeptical.

Check sources for accuracy.

Don't forward until you fact-check!

Grade 4 Activity: Finding reliable resources on the internet

Watch the two videos below and write down the key points using a bullet point list. Put a question mark (?) next to any words you do not understand or look at a dictionary. Then -

Read and compare these three websites using a Venn diagram. What is the same? What is different? Skim and scan the content. One of them is a hoax website!

Source 1: Burmese Mountain Dog

Source 2: Bernese Mountain Dog and verify or fact check with

Source 3: wikipedia (Note: Wikipedia is always a good first resource to use. It helps you to narrow your topic keywords and gives you a citation trail to look at other website links in the References)

Any information which is the same between websites should go in the overlapping sections. Also write down the name and website in the white section for each website.

Inquiry cycle - Watch the videos below to help you find useful information on the internet.

Inquiry cycle

[Kath Murdoch]

Watch these videos to help you during your inquiry process.

Tuning in:

Choosing a topic and defining a research question

(OSLIS Elementary Videos)

Finding out:

Searching Effectively Phrase Searching & Truncation

(OSLIS Elementary Videos)

Sorting out:

Crediting Experts Using Signal Phrases

  • (OSLIS Elementary Videos)

Note taking strategies

Also look at:

Kathy Shrock - Sketchnoting (Links to many many web resources)

Doug Neil has many other video tutorials on how to sketchnote.

How to Make a Mind Map - The Basics

by Susan Gregory

Published on 6 May 2009

How To Paraphrase – 3 Paraphrasing Techniques

Source: How To Do That

Published on 8 Nov 2016

Quoting, paraphrasing & summarising

Source: Lauren's the Write Way

Published on Oct 9, 2016

How to take great notes

1. write conclusions

2. use questions to make connections

3. go over your notes

Source: watchwellcast

Published on 26 Oct 2012