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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

EPCC Summer Program 2020- Evaluating Online Sources

Target audience: ages 8 through 13. Dates: June 8-26, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3-4pm

Intro to evaluating sources

Lesson 1: Database and Web Searches


A few main concepts covered:

  • Boolean operators
  • Internet domain names
  • Narrowing & broadening a topic
  • “Information needs”
  • The research process


Essential Question: How do you conduct database and web searches online, and what are some related concepts, tips and tricks?

Guiding Questions: How big are the internet/web? What is the research cycle? What types of assignments and resources are common for college-level? What are some ways to distinguish types of web pages?



Note: To address college readiness, several state and national standards have been selected, emphasizing related skills and concepts. However, while this lesson touches on several of these, not all of these will be assessed here.

Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

Frame(s): Searching as Strategic Exploration

Knowledge Practices: determine the initial scope of the task; utilize divergent (e.g., brainstorming) and convergent (e.g., selecting the best source) thinking when searching...

Dispositions:  understand that first attempts at searching do not always produce adequate results; realize that information sources vary greatly in content and format and have varying relevance and value, depending on the needs and nature of the search ...

American Association for School Librarians (AASL). National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (AASL Standards)  

Domain(s): Think, Create, Share, and Grow

Shared Foundation(s): Inquire

Think (1. Formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic. 2. Recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new

meaning.); Create (1. Using evidence to investigate questions. 2. Devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.); Share (1. Interacting with content presented by others. 2. Providing constructive feedback. 3. Acting on feedback to improve); Grow (1. Continually seeking knowledge. 2. Engaging in sustained inquiry. 3. Enacting new understanding through real-world connections. 4. Using reflection to guide informed decisions).

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Standards for Students and Educators

ISTE for Students: Knowledge Constructor

Students: 3a. plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits; 3c. evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources; 3d. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Texas School Library Standards

Strand 1: Information Literacy. 1.1.2 Locate information • Evaluate information

• Effectively use information such as state digital resources, open educational resources, and print resources

Strand 2: Inquiry. 2.3.0 The school library program offers opportunities for learners to explore real world problems by interacting with relevant information in a variety of formats; 2.3.1 Inquiry projects are based on real world issues and problems; 2.3.3 Inquiry projects include the opportunity to: • Consider diverse points of view, • Use critical thinking skills, • Make informed judgments

Lesson Objectives/What am I learning? The information literate student…

  • Searches for relevant information for their personal needs and devised/implements a plan to figure out how to accomplish this.
  • At the end of this lesson, my students will be able to describe how they search for information online (or in general).

Learning Outcomes/Why did I learn this? [Demonstration of Learning]

  • Given a research example prompt and an information-seeking process model, students will explore relevant information and be able to analyze their search strategy/process by answering questions: What questions do I ask myself? How do I know I have enough information? What feelings do I have during the search process? How do I know I can trust information? Etc.- in the form of a short paragraph.


1) Please make sure you have access to TexShare to access the databases listed below.

El Paso Public Library (EPPL) website, get access:

TexShare login:

  • Credo Complete Core Collection
  • Academic Search Complete
  • Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints
  • SciTech Collection
  • Texas Reference Center

2) El Paso Community College Library’s Helpful Internet Websites : [Selected by librarians]


Look in: Career and Employment tab.



Lesson Cycle


Part 1. Direct instruction: PowerPoint presentation outlining the topics of discussion. 


Part 2

Engagement: Warm-Up/Opening/The “hook”

Teaching Strategy/Instructional Procedure: Conversing 

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: quick write

Instructions: Think about the last thing that you looked up online, which took a while to look up. What was it? Did you know where to look for information? Where did you look? How quickly did you find the information? How did you feel about it (were you confident, frustrated, anxious)? What kind of web places did you visit? Write a short paragraph/share out.


Part 3.  Practice:

Let's take a look at some kid-friendly websites. Just look over them a little bit and try to find something to pursue. Think about what “information needs” you might have about the topic. Next, think about how you would gather information about it. What do you need to know? What would you like others to know? How would you share this information? Who created this information? Where did they get it from? How would you know if the information is true or not? 


Animal Fact Guide

Cat Breeds

Dog Breeds

Dolly the Sheep

Endangered species

Ocean Facts

The Guinea Worm

The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Water bears

Military Branches:

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Coast Guard 

U.S. marine corps 

U.S. navy 

U.S. Space Force


Part 4. Evaluation: Closing/Demonstration of Learning

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: Share out

Directions: Tell us about your research process. How did it go? Were you able to create keywords? Which worked for you? Which didn’t work for you? Were you able to create research questions?


Part 5.  To model web-evaluation habits, the librarian will go over two websites and demonstrate how one might go about evaluating a website. 

What kinds of questions should we ask to gather information on these web-pages? 

Homework: Three common assignments we see at the Valle Verde Library are 1) career research papers, 2) “controversial issues” papers (or a position paper) and 3) Informative papers. Your homework is to choose from one of these options: a) Research a career,  b) research a “controversial” topic, c) research a topic of interest. Start thinking about what option might interest you most.  Next, just give some thought to this, but don't stress yourself out!  For example, consider: What kind of information do you need, and what does it look like? Where can you find this information?  Please have a research preference for next class. 


- by Adrian M. Spring, 2020


"Lesson Plan Worksheet" borrowed (and adapted) from Colorado State University, at, and, Instructional Resources, at

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