Google’s reading level search feature

In a comment on my recent post about teaching students to search for reliable information on the web, Debryc wrote:

I want to teach my students these skills of information curation but I don’t know how. I find it challenging myself to find reading level accessible material for my fifth graders.

Are there any good blogs/books to read that can help us start purposefully planning lessons and learning experiences on information curation and research?

While I don’t have a ton of time to write today, Debryc—we’re hosting an end of the year pizza party for our Kiva Microlending Club tonight, so I’m icing down cokes and opening bags of chips as we speak—I wanted to point out a quick solution that might be a good starting point for you.

Google has just recently introduced a Reading Level feature to their searches.  You can find it by clicking on the “More Search Tools” link that appears in the left side bar of any Google search page.

After selecting the “Reading Levels” option, all of the returned search results will be sorted into “Basic,” “Intermediate” and “Advanced” categories.

You might also be interested in this bit that I wrote on teaching kids to approach content with caution.  It includes a few structured handouts on spotting hoax websites and on using Google’s Wonder Wheel to work through more structured searches.

I hope that’s useful to you!

Bill

PS:  My book—Teaching the iGeneration—also has an entire chapter on introducing students to strategies for information management.  You can check out the handouts for the book here.