Teaching Students to Become Proficient Information Problem Solvers

What is the Big 6?

1. Task Definition
What is my task? What information do I need?

This is possibly the most important step. Why? How can a student successfully solve the problem if they do not understand what the task or problem is? Successful task definition requires an understanding of the task.
Identifying the important or relevant information from a sea of information is better facilitated when the task has been correctly identified and the student can comprehend the nature of the needed information.
Increased achievement is more likely when students are engaged. Being able to restate the task in their own words allows students to take ownership and become engaged in finding answers.

Tools for helping students to organize their thoughts and questions
KWL Charts
Graphic organizers
Use MS Office Smart Art or Drawing tools to create these
Concept mapping
Reading Rockets
Use Kidspiration or Inspiration software
Concept map to help brainstorm keywords

2. Information seeking-
Determine all possible sources and select the best ones

Using Parts of a Book
Using an Index for Information
Using a Table of Contents

Online Resources:
NC Wise Owl -database of articles from major periodicals, two online encyclopedias
List of resources for NC Wise Owl
Fact Monster
KidsClick Websites from librarians
ALA Reference Desk Collection of resources
Google Safe Search Kids
How Stuff Works Middle school