Dan Russell has provided the inspiration for many of the web research lessons that I have conducted with students over the years. Every week he posts an interesting search challenge for readers then provides the answers a few days later. The challenges vary in difficulty, but I always learn something from them regardless of how difficult they are. A few years ago he posted a challenge called What’s In Common? In the years since, I’ve used various modifications of that challenge to help students discover and practice utilizing a variety of search tools and strategies.
The What’s In Common? challenge asks you to identify the shared characteristics of two or more pictures, events, and or scenarios. In Dan’s original post he asked readers to find the commonalities between three floods and he asked readers to find the commonalities between three plants.
|What do these two have in common besides being dogs?|
What I like about the What’s In Common? challenge is that I can make it as easy or as difficult as I need it to be based on my students’ current skill levels. For example, I might make one challenge based on reading the content of webpages that students find while searching and make another challenge based on being able to discover and use the meta data in images.