The Wonder of Google

Mrs. Hicks’s 4th grade students have embarked on a project to research topics that interest them.  They have visited the media center to explore how to find “just right” nonfiction text.  They have brainstormed possible questions and pathways that they might take within their topics.

Last week, I visited their classroom to show them a search feature within Google called the Google Wonder Wheel.  The wonder wheel helps user narrow their search topics by offering a range of possible keywords to add to the original keyword typed into the search.  When users click on any of Google’s suggested search terms, a new wheel is formed.  With each click, the new search results are displayed on the right hand side of the screen.  Users can always go back to their original searches by clicking on the appropriate wheel or spoke.
Mrs. Hicks’s students startede exploring this tool in our media center computer lab right after I showed it to them in their classroom.  Many of them reported that they were able to better find the information they were looking for.  During my observations, I noticed a lower frustration level from students as they surfed the web.  I often see students get frustrated because they can’t find what they’re looking for.  I look forward to using this feature with future classes and seeing how it fits students’ needs.

Try it out for yourself and see how you like it.

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