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Evaluating Internet Sources (Grade 3-4)

Main Core Tie

Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 5 Standard 2

Time Frame

1 class periods of 15 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning


Ronelle Warren


The teacher will show the Dog Island website and ask the students to help evaluate whether Dog Island is a good place to send his/her dog. Students will evaluate domain, author, date, appearance and reasonability to determine if Dog Island is a credible website and if Dog Island is a real place.



Background for Teachers

Dog Island is a website designed for entertainment. (This island is made up. The author includes a disclaimer.)

If using Plickers for the assessment quiz, teacher will need to set up an account (free), enter the questions found in the assessment plan below (add questions as desired) and print the cards. Become familiar with using the cards with a class.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students should understand that websites have an address called the URL.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to analyze, investigate, and select possible information sources based on criteria of relevancy, currency and credibility.

Instructional Procedures

Teacher says, "Help me decide if I should take my dog to Dog Island. It looks terrific, let me show you."
Open the Dog Island website and read the information together.

Ask: "Do you think my dog would be happy at Dog Island?"

Let students respond and require them to give evidence of why or why not. Prompt by asking how the dogs would find food, does it seem reasonable for dogs to live only with other dogs. What problems may arise without humans to help keep order?

Ask, "Does Dog Island seem like a real place? After all, it's on the Internet!"

Ask, "How can we decide if information on the internet is real or credible?"

Draw a T-chart on the board to identify credible or not credible.

Say, "One way to know if a site is credible is to look at the web address, the very last part after the (.) (called the extension) identifies the domain. (classifies the type of information)

.com, .org, and .net addresses can be purchased and used by any individual.

Whereas, .edu is used for colleges or universities. .gov is used for government websites. .org is usually used for a non-profit organization which is interested in persuasion rather than education."

Write the different extensions on the board as they are identified.

Say, "Which of those domains do you think would be most trustworthy?

This is the URL (web address) for Dog Island:
(Write the URL on the board.)

Who do you think created this website? Why do you think it was created?

A .com domain can be purchased and used by anyone. How does knowing that effect our decision to trust this website? Which side would you put the domain for Dog Island on? Credible or non-credible?" (Encourage students to identify that the domain is not credible because it could be anyone in the world and then write 'domain' under the 'not credible' column.)

Say, "Another way to judge a website is by locating the author of the site. If the information is valid, the author will stand by it. Look again at the Dog Island website to find the author." (There is not an author listed on the website.) -Ask, "If we don't know who the author is should we trust the information? (Write 'no author' under 'not credible' on T-chart.)

Also, "Look for the date. A website that is being kept up to date will have a current date. Look at the bottom the page to find the date."

Ask students to find the date (2013). "How long has it been since this website was updated?" (3 years)

Ask, "Is the date credible or not?" (Write 'date' under the 'not credible' column on the T-chart.)

Say, "The appearance of a website can also help us decide if it is credible."

"How does the website look?" "Do we see any gramatical errors or spelling errors?" "Do the pictures look real?" (Dog Island website appears to be credible, so write 'appearance' in the credible column on the T-chart.)

Say, "A final way to judge a website is to ask yourself 'Does it make sense?' Does it make sense that there would be an island just for dogs? Where would this island be?" (Students should reason that it doesn't make sense to have an island just for dogs, so write 'not sensible' in the 'not credible' column.)

Say, "Now, let's look at our T-chart to see if we should trust "Dog Island or not." (Note that the 'not credible' column has more checked than the 'credible' column, therefore Dog Island is probably not real. Click on the 'disclaimer' at the bottom of the website and show the students that Dog Island is not real.

Explain that nobody checks to see if a website is accurate or credible, so we are responsible for checking on our own. This is especially important when finding information for a research project.)

Use Plickers to quiz the students for understanding. (If students have not used the Plickers cards before, give brief instructions.)



Assessment Plan

Using Plickers conduct quiz. Review as necessary.

  1. How can you tell if a website is current?
    A It has bright colors
    B There are pictures of movie stars
    C If it is on the web, it must be current
    D The date at the bottom of the page is within a year

  2. .gov is the extension of a website used for
    A education
    B government
    C commercial
    D humorous

  3. .edu is the extension used for which type of website?
    A education
    B government
    C commercial
    D humorous

  4. Add more questions as desired.


Created: 09/08/2016
Updated: 02/04/2018