Lesson 2--How to Find and Navigate Through A Database

Lesson 2--How to Find and Navigate Through A Database

General Goals

Students will become familiar with using databases and have a general understanding that not all databases are the same. Each database can have a tie to a subject area or specific type of information one is looking to find. However, that navigating through one database requires the same skill set as navigating through another.


Students will be able to:

  • Locate and navigate to the databases to which the school subscribes
  • Choose a database based on the type of information being sought
  • Use keywords to help locate topic specific information within a chosen database.

Required Materials:

Step-By-Step Procedures:

  • Review the concept of using keywords. Do some example together.

Topic Example: The state of the environment will get worse and worse unless we address the issue of global warming and what we can do to reverse this process.

Ask “What keywords would help us find information if this was our topic?” Brainstorm different words and/or phrases that would be helpful.

Topic Example:

Women have been allowed in the military for year but not in a combat role. If we want true gender equality then women should be allowed to take part in combat

Ask again for a list of words and/or phrases that would help us locate information on this thesis topic.

  • Using the topic cards from the previous lesson have each group brainstorm a list of words and/or phrases that would work for that topic. Allow 5 or 10 minutes for group collaboration and then have the class listen to each topic and the list of keywords to see if they could offer some suggestions that might help each group have a better focus.
  • Have the groups go to the computers and follow the directions on how to get to the databases subscribed to by the school. Walk them through the steps using the Smart Board if necessary.
  • Once we are all on the database page point out how the databases are placed in categories. Each category has several databases that are best used if your topic falls within it.
  • Each group will now use the worksheet to guide them to articulate a stragedy for using the databases as well as what databases they chose and why they made those specific choices. They will also have an opportunity to reflect if their group’s strategy was effective and if they found what they were looking for. They will also have an opportunity to reflect on what they could have done differently to make the search more effective. (20 minutes)
  • After the groups have had time to make some observations and gather some information bring them back for a group discussion.

Ask: “Did you get better results yesterday or today?” “Why or why not?” “What’s different about using a database as opposed to freely browsing through magazines and journals?” “Do you think that using a database is more effective?”

Assessment Based On Objectives:

  • Students will be assessed only on activity completion and discussion participation at this time.

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