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WAB Faculty & Staff

Elementary Library: Finding Out

Finding Out is the process of involving students in the act of planning for and researching new information. This happens through research or engaging in shared experiences that support students to discuss and share their thinking with others. It is important for students to record their findings in order to refer back to key information when they take their thinking deeper. 

Finding Out

Finding Information

Media includes books, databases, online sources, videos, podcasts, news sources, and social media.

  • Do you have a wide variety of resources from different types of media?
  • Do you have the information you need to make a bibliography?
  • Do your notes help you remember why a resource is important?
  • Are you using credible online resources?

Interviews can be with experts, focus groups, a community member in need, or anyone else who can help you with your topic.

  • Have you confirmed the person you interview is a reliable expert?
  • Have you prepared open-ended questions before the interview?
  • Are you reading to listen, not interrupt?
  • Are you ready to take notes or ask permission to record the interview?

Use surveys to gather responses from a narrow or broad range of people to discover what they know and/or their opinions. 

  • Are they questions you wrote clear, relevant to your topic, and the answers will add to your knowledge?
  • Have you sent a test survey for feedback?
  • Can you show responses in a chart or a graph?

Observations are first-hand experiences that can lead you to identify a need or a problem or to gather data in order to draw a conclusion.

  • Did you do a structured observation where you observe and take notes on only one or two elements?
  • Did you do an unstructured observation where you observe and take notes on everything?
  • Did you observe using most or all of your 5 senses?


Research is a process and you may need to go back and forward a few times before you are happy with your results.

Costello, Cathy. “The Research Process,” Virtual Library, 8 Oct. 2019, Accessed 01/03/2021.

Resources for Finding Out Information

Our library has many nonfiction books that will help with researching. All the nonfiction books you will find in our library (both print and online) are credible. Most of our databases and online resources can be accessed through a single sign on with Clever. SIGN-IN using your Microsoft WAB username and password. If you cannot access the database you want through Clever, click here for the database passwords.

The  best place to start research online is with a database. Databases provide information that is relevant, current, and credible. You don't have to evaluate information on a database. It has already been done.

Research Databases


Image and Music Databases

Learn more about searching and using online resources from BrainPop. Click here for database passwords or click here to access Clever.

Using Keywords
Before you start searching for information (sources), you need to choose good keywords for your search. Keywords are common words (but not words such as: of, and, the) that describe the main idea of your topic or question. Three or 4 keywords are usually most helpful. It will save you heaps of time and frustration later in your research process. The right combination of keywords can be the difference between finding good information and finding nothing. 

Boolean Operators
Boolean operators are special words (like AND, OR, NOT) that help us search for information more effectively online. They are like secret codes that tell computers exactly what we are looking for. For example, when you search for "cats AND dogs," you are telling the computer to find information that includes both cats and dogs.

These operators are important because they help us narrow down our search results and find exactly what we need. Without them, searching for information on the internet would be like looking for a needle in a haystack! So, by using boolean operators, we can save time and quickly find the information we are seeking.

Practice your Boolean search skills with Boolify.

If you must do an internet search because you can't find what you want on a school database, use a child-friendly search engine. Child friendly search engines are designed to create a safe online environment. They have content filtering, privacy protection, educational resources, and are easy to use. Some examples of child friendly search engines are

Finding Information in the Library

Finding Nonfiction
Nonfiction books are organized according to topics. We use the Dewey Decimal System to organize the books.

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