Grade 3

Key To Searching

Knowledge Constructor
key with keyboard


Students learn how to choose effective KEYWORDS for searching online. Finding the right keyword/s to use when doing research is extremely important so that your search is relevant and you don't waste time during the research process.

This task card can be adapted for any content area or topic.

Students will:

  • Understand how keywords can help them find information they need online.
  • Understand how keywords can be evaluated for helpfulness and relevance.  
  • Be able to practice with different search scenarios to identify relevant helpful keywords.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Keyword: A keyword is a word you use to search for information about a topic.

  2. Relevance: Relevance is important to the matter at hand. It is useful and appropriate. 

To prepare for this lesson:

  1. Pre-planning will include lessons that are taught in content areas.
  2. A Google spreadsheet can also be used as a tool for collecting keywords related to the topic and content area. At this grade level, it is recommended that the teacher creates the Google Spreadsheet and share with the students. 
  3. Here is a spreadsheet example that can be copied for your use with the students. 
  4. Watch the video called Solomon's Story: Online Searching
  5. Check out the complete Common Sense Media lesson on keywords. 
  6. If needed a brief video tutorial on how to use/share a Google Spreadsheet can be used. 
  7. The teacher will also need to decide what search engine or database the students will use when doing their searches. 
    2. Michigan eLibrary (choose a database that is kid-friendly like World Book Kids. 

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher introduces keywords and why using them is an effective way to locate information on the internet.
    • Discuss how keyword and exact phrase searching on the Internet works to eliminate unrelated results.
    • Ineffective examples of keyword searches will result in too much, too little or useless information. 
  2. The teacher can use any content area to practice keywords to use. The teacher will project several searches on the board to show how both effective and ineffective searches work. 
  3. The teacher will show the video from Common Sense media that also has a “search shark” activity that the teacher could use for practice.
  4. The teacher then assigns a search to the students. The Google Spreadsheet form is a great way to collect information.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Google Spreadsheet - points assigned
  • ​Spotlight on sharing

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Knowledge Constructor
3a. Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
3c. Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.


Research for reports. 

Research projects, experiments.

Research projects. 

This task card was created by Denise Gallemore, Marysville Public Schools. February 2018. Updated October 2023.