Effective Search engines

Lesson Synopsis: Effective web searchers use a variety of techniques to find the material they’re looking for. They build on background knowledge to form their search, think about what good results might be, try multiple keywords and read through results carefully.

Lets begin  begins by introducing the idea of a search engine and explaining how it works. It then helps you demonstrate how keywords can be used in conjunction with search operators to refine queries.

Driving questions & goals:

  • What is a search engine? What does a search engine search?

  • How do we tell a search engine to show results that we want to receive?

  • What is search refinement?

  • How do we retrieve the most accurate results possible using refinement?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will learn what a search engine is, and what it does

  2. Students will learn basic search operators, including keyword/phrase and exact keyword/phrase, “or”, and “not”.

  3. Students will be able to select and utilize operators to refine their search results.

  4. Alternative / add-in: Students will think about how their background knowledge can improve searches.

Website: http://www.boolify.org

PActivity 1: Defining a search engine “do now”

 Answer the following question using a What is a web search engine? Be sure to write about what you think a search engine does, and what it searches. Try to explain how a search engine knows what to give you when you use it to search for something.

Activity 2: Modeling how a search engine works


When we use search engines, we enter keywords – things we’re searching for. But we also need to use operators, which help us be more precise about what we’re searching for. Operators are words like NOT and OR. They help us be specific about removing or adding results from our search.

NOT means that we don’t want to receive something as a result. OR means we want EITHER thing 1 OR thing 2.

Let’s try that out, using ourselves as the search results. When you hear a search that sounds like it fits you, stand up. If it doesn’t fit you, remain seated.

Search 1: “Student”  [All students should stand] … and, sit back down

Search 2: “Student” “girl” [All female students should stand]… and, sit back down

Search 3: “student” “girl” OR “boy” [All students should stand]… and, sit back down

Search 4: “student” NOT “wearing” “red” “shoes” [All students not wearing red shoes should stand]… and, sit back down

Ask several students to think of a search for something that will make between three and five fellow students stand up. Can the students use OR and NOT in the same search?

Search 5 and 6: Students give “searching” a try.

Ask: What does OR do?

Ask: What does NOT do?

Ask: How do you think you would use them when you’re searching for something?

4 responses

  1. Brandon

    about my summer frist i went to miami i went to see my consn s and my ancle and my ant

    September 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  2. Brandon

    afather that i wen drop my brother of to coollge me an my dad and my mom we went outside to eat and we went back home but we got back home at three a clock in the mooning

    September 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm

  3. Brandon

    in summer school i ad fun because i play viedo game with my firends and aftjher that i went my gramam house play with couisn kai nai

    September 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

  4. qumel

    i went to my couisn house and i pllay with xbox 360

    September 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

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