The Internet, like the Land of Oz and Willy Wonka's factory, is a strange and marvelous place. But with all that information out there, it can be easy to get lost. Today, being able to use the Internet is an incredibly useful skill. Send your child on an online hunt for history facts. He will practice working with search engines and use his reading comprehension skills to find specific information.
What You Do:
- Choose an event in history. Try to choose something your child hasn't studied extensively in school, but also try to be somewhat specific. Instead of choosing World War II, try the start of WWII or a specific battle.
- On a sheet of paper, write out the 5Ws: Who? What? When? Where? Why?
- If you know additional information about the event you chose, feel free to add more facts that your child should inquire about. For instance, if you choose the March on Washington, you could ask a question like, "What memorial did Martin Luther King, Jr. stand in front of?" or "How many people participated in the march?"
- Give the list of questions to your child and tell him that he must find the answer to each question on a different website and make note of the websites where he found the information.
- Send him on the hunt for the answers!
- If he comes across a page with a lot of text and gets overwhelmed, encourage him to scan the page for key terms, like Washington or Dr. King. Scanning is a skill that definitely comes in handy for research papers.
- When he finds the answers to all the questions, celebrate with a treat! It could be anything from a cup of apple cider to 15 minutes playing an online game.
If your child gets really good at these history scavenger hunts, add to the challenge a bit by timing him. Then, each time you do it, you can encourage him to beat his previous time while still finding accurate information. Being able to find information quickly and easily on the Internet is an invaluable skill that will serve your child well in college and, potentially, in his chosen career.