Year 5 and I had fun with the URL Game, a simple challenge created to help students understand what a URL is and how to read them – a useful skill linked to evaluating websites. The URL Game is part of a series of lessons that I have been working on related to Online Search Skills.
- As a lead into the lesson we watched How Search Works. The short video explains what happens when you do a web search. Students respond well to this, a simple question ‘what did you learn?’ allows for great discussion after watching.
- A brief demonstration of a search extends on the How Search Works video. A TL friend of mine told me that her son had recently starting fencing – well this I thought would make a perfect search example. Just using the word fencing as the search term we reviewed the results, it became clear that we could read the snippet of information and skim and scan the results before opening a site that was related to fencing the sport. We also discussed that we could have made a stronger search by being more specific.
- The question ‘what is a URL?’ was opened for student discussion to see what they already knew. We looked at a graphic showing .com .edu and discussed what they stood for (introducing the word Domain Name) and why would a website need to have this in the address. The search results for fencing linked well to breaking down the layers of a website address and we reviewed and compared two examples: http://www.activefencing.com.au/ and http://www.ausfencing.org/home/
- So now the challenge begins! The class was told we are going to play the URL Game. The class was instructed to log into Socrative (they had used Socrative before so we were ready to go quickly). A ULR was entered as a Quick Question – Short Answer. Students were instructed to break the URL code and write down as much as they could about the website address. As Socrative was live we could see the answers on the whiteboard screen, guidance was provided to build on what was posted until the full answer was up.
The first URL example was www.unimelb.edu.au the answer we needed was: world wide web university of melbourne education australia
A new URL was added until the students had 3 – 4 goes.
URL’s that worked well and allowed for fun:
To finalise the lesson students were asked to think of an interest or hobby and enter a website address / URL for their own imaginary website, again students posted their answers on Socrative. It was clear to see that they got it!
URL guide provided to students via the Library Homepage.
How this fits into the Australian Curriculum:
General Capability: Information and Communication Technology
Investigating with ICT:
Define and plan information searches. Locate, generate and access data and information. Select and evaluate data and information.