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Research Questions and the Ten-Year-Old Mind

As a school librarian it is my task to teach research skills to my students. In library circles. the new nomenclature for what was once research skills is now information literacy. Whether you call the skill by its older more familiar name – or its new appellation, it all boils down to the same thing. Basically, what’s your question, where do you look for it – not necessarily on the internet – and how do you extract credible information from your chosen sources. My biggest challenge is to get the idea across that all research begins with some kind of question. For example, the question “How do you make chocolate chip cookies?” is for all intents and purposes a legitimate research question. I like it…I like cookies. Because kids often confuse reporting with legitimate research convincing them that off the wall questions constitute legitimate research and is far more interesting than mere reporting, true research pursuits often need a little nudging. The goofier the example the better. Does the light in the refrigerator turn off when the door closes? hmmmmmm?

Winding Down For the Summer at the Little Trailer in the Big Woods

It’s been an eventful summer.  The long lazy days of childhood were remembered but not necessarily enjoyed.  This summer is best described as productive.  I worked – almost every weekend and for at least 4 solid weeks at the little trailer in the big woods, and accomplished much… With my brother’s well-outlined instruction, I patched … Continue reading Winding Down For the Summer at the Little Trailer in the Big Woods

Jack and the Devil

A long time ago in Ireland, there lived a man named Jack.  Now thrift is a good thing.  Careful spending with a loving heart brings happiness to the spender and the saver alike. Thrift keeps the cold away on long winter nights, ensures that food is plenty even in times of hunger, and provides for to those in need.  But stinginess is another thing all together.  A stingy heart is a selfish mean heart incapable of sharing, hoarding instead of giving, and never knowing the peace of a happy home.  Jack had a stingy heart.

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