Introducing the Big6 with real-life information need

I decided to introduce the information or problem solving process, the Big6 to my 3rd and 4th grade classes.  I had done it several years ago with moderate success, but was inspired to try again after looking at the Big6 recently in a graduate class.

Connecting the Big6 with Real-Life Problem

This time I started the lesson by showing a poster of the Big6 and telling the students that it was a strategy, model or process that they could use to find information they needed to solve a problem.  I wanted to hook them in and help them see that this model would be useful outside the classroom.

Poster of the Big6 information seeking model or process

Big 6 poster I hung near our chart paper.

Step 1 Task Definition

The Exchange  Club Fair was due to start the next week and most all of the students love going to the fair.  Aha!  A real-life problem…what information do you need if you want to go to the fair.  And so we starting brainstorming and these are the questions one class decided they needed answers to (step 1-Task Definition):

  • How much does the fair cost?
  • Where do you get tickets?
  • Where is the fair?
  • What are the dates the fair is running?
  • What are the times each day the fair is going on?

They were very excited (I’m not sure if it was talking about the fair or about the process)!

Step 2 Information Seeking Strategies

We moved on and the students came up with possible sources of information to answer these questions. (step 2)  The students did a great job listing sources such as the local television stations, local newspaper, the internet, someone who has been to the fair and a few more.

Step 3, 4, 5

We went through the next steps and I had their attention the entire time as this was a problem they would have the next week, when they wanted to go to the fair.

Step 6 Evaluation

Step 6 of the Big6 is evaluating the effectiveness of the product and efficiency of the process.  I asked them how would they know if they had gotten the correct information (effectiveness).  After a few false starts, one of the students said, “We’d be at the fair!”  I went on to very briefly tell them they would be using this process soon when they conducted research on a project in their class.

I think they are more likely to remember this lesson by connecting it to something they can relate to and I’ll definitely use this approach again next year.




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Filed under Information Literacy Instruction

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