Just the Facts

Knowledge Constructor
Detective with magnifying glass

Safe Searching Online


It is important that students learn how to search safely online. Students will get an introduction to safe search engines, including Michigan e-Library (mel.org), to find ways to search safely for information. Students will also review how using key effective keywords will give them better results. 

This activity will take several class periods to introduce MeL to the students and to teach them how to navigate this detailed website. 

Students will:

  • Be able to know the importance of using reliable sites to find information.
  • Be able to review how to narrow their searches down using key words.
  • Be exposed to various websites including MeL Library.
  • Be able to explore websites.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Search: To search is to look for information on the internet.

  2. Reliable: Information or sites worthy of trust are reliable.

  3. Results: Results are what is produced during a search based on keywords. 

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Watch the video on searching
  • To use MEL Kids, go to Mel library, select KIDS and then select LEARN
  • Get acquainted with MeL searches first before demonstrating.
    • Good databases to show are Encyclopedia Britannica School (Elementary), World Book Kids and Explora for Primary School.

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

Directions for this activity:

  1. Show the video on safe searching.
  2. Review with students the importance of using reliable websites for research.
  3. The teacher will  choose the databases and demonstrate how to use them. 
    1. SHOW MeL.org first
    2. Good databases to share in in MeL are: Encyclopedia Britannica School (Elementary), World Book Kids and Explora for Primary School. 
  4. Others to consider (time permitting)
    1. Kid Rex
    2. Google SafeSearch for Kids

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Exit ticket: Have students explore. Give students a  topic. Have them find 1-2 facts on a given topic using sites given. Have them cite where their information came from. (Students may not have been shown how to properly cite a source yet. Students should at least indicate where they found their information. )

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.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL


Google Safe Search for Kids

Kid Rex

Michigan eLibrary (MeL)

RUFF RUFFMAN | How Search Engines Work | PBS KIDS


Create a “How To” poster for searches.

  • Research an artifact in art.
  • Research music and/or musicians.
  • Research theater and theatrical productions. 

Research a math concept.

Research animals and their habitats. 

Research a state or a country. 

This task card was created by Courtney Conley, Utica Community Schools, January 2018. Updated October 2023.