How to search the internet (The Right Way!!!)

How to search the internet (The Right Way!!!)


How many times has your teacher had a go at you for copying and pasting? What do they mean when they say ‘put it in your own words!’? What is the correct way to search the Internet? Fear not, for the answers are here in this lesson!  

The following activities have been put together to give you the skills necessary for internet research, it will teach you how to select information for the benefit of your work, without copying huge lumps of text from the web.


 Activity One


Open up another window with the Google search engine. How much local history can you find when you type in the word ‘Reading’ on its own in the search bar, note down the number of websites you find which tell you about Readings history on your sheet. Note: Only look at the first web page.

 Now do the same thing again, but this time enter in the words ‘Reading’s history’ into the google search bar, once again only look at the first web page.


The advantage of using specific words like ‘history’ narrowed our search down; this is the first skill you must learn to master in order to research on the net correctly. Historians of all ages need to be able to narrow their searches down, so that we only get information that is useful to us.


Go back to Google and try using a combination of two or three words to search the topics below. The idea of these searches is to get you to short list a number of useful websites on a specific topic, basically separating the rubbish from the good web sites.

 See if you can get 3 historically useful websites in the top half of your first search web page. This way you save time and energy by not going through endless web pages trying to find the information you need. Write your three websites on your sheet and say why you think their useful. Make sure your search brings them up on the top half of your first web page.


– The Battle of Britain

– The Flying Scotsman Steam Train

– The Ford Model T Car


Clearly you got that, well done! Time to make things a bit more challenging!


See if you can improve on the following search words. Load up the Google engine and type in: ‘The development of Steam trains in the United Kingdom between 1800 & 2000’.

How useful were these search words? Could you improve on these search words to produce some more relevent websites? Try to use three or four words to produce a better list of websites, once you have done this write down 4 good websites your new search words have found. Note your findings on your sheet.


Using the knowledge you have gained so far, devise a search to be put into google, that will find specific information on trains today.

I want to know the website I need for train timetables in the South West, once you think you have found the best website for the job write it down on your sheet and say why you think it is a relevant site.  





Activity Two

Now that we have mastered how to use key words in the search bar, we need to work out if the information we find is useful. The next link will take you to a web page about the Flying Scotsman; you need to find out if it’s useful. THE GOLDEN RULE HERE IS NOT TO SIMPLY COPY AND PASTE LUMPS OF TEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that the moan is over, we need to look at the correct way to pick out useful information.Alan Pegler and Flying Scotsman


How significant a train was the Flying Scotsman?


 Answer this question by picking out a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 significant events about the Flying Scotsman from the text, bullet point these findings on your sheet.


 Why are we doing this? 


Answer: This will teach you to research for key information, rather than just copying huge chunks of writing from some random website, this is a really important historical skill.




Activity Three


So far we have learned how to search for websites and pick out information from web pages, now its time for us to put that research into our own paragraphs. The key to writing paragraphs about what you have learned is not to copy text, but to structure it in your own words. You need to incorporate the information you found out about the Flying Scotsman from the last activity. Write a paragraph using this information on the writing frame provided on your sheet.


TOP TIP: The writing frame is their to help guide you in writing a high quality paragraph however, you can amend it to fit in with your information and writing.


Activity Four


Time to evaluate what you have learned in this lesson. This is the really important bit as it shows to both your teacher and more importantly yourself, that you can use the internet like a professional. List at least three main points that you have learnt about searching the internet and say why you think they are important skills to know. Use the space on the sheet.



WELL DONE! You are now ready to go off and search for the information that is relevant for you. Remember say No! to copy and paste, search wise and have fun!

One thought on “How to search the internet (The Right Way!!!)

  1. The layout is now much much better – you’re both picking up web design really quickly!  There’s still some re-reading for grammar, style and spelling that needs to take place – but this is quite usual for internet based work – I’m forever being told about my spelling errors by readers!
    The main thrust of this lesson is that students will be taught how to construct a proper internet search.  This is going to be a a fantastic skill for them – and the basic elements are all there.
    I’m still not sure about what it is you want them to get from searching the internet for the Battle of Britain, and then writing down the numbers of results. What is the significance of these numbers?  You don’t seem to come back to them (unless I’ve missed something).  Do you want them to maximise the number of searches they get or minimse (which would be more useful for them trying to make a historical enquiry in a limited amount of time?).
    For instance, later on you write "use three or four words to produce a better list of websites" – I don’t think that its clear to the students what a "better" list would be.
    Activity Two  – you’re making them answer comprehension style questions – why?  Think about your aims – to teach them how to use internet search engines by constructing good searches.  
    Before you edit this lesson some more, do a few searches yourself on good search techniques – perhaps you could also look at the big 6 stuff that we covered in the webquest – could it help us give the students some useful tactics when it comes to searching the internet?

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