Search Strategies


Useful MeL databases for K-5 Visual Arts Students:



I’m especially excited about this database as upon investigation it would be an incredible/reliable resource for our 5th Grade Artist Research Project.


Here is a Biography search I did on Pablo Picasso. I also love how it has a read-aloud feature and English to Spanish function which would be useful for my ESL students.


This resource has a collection of Drawing Books within its Arts and Architecture tab!


imageimageMy favorite MeL database! Look at the plethora of Art related search options with the bonus of a read-aloud function! I can see myself using Kids Infobits with my 5th Grade Artists for their Artist Research projects or simply as a hook in a Unit of study!!! What an exciting resource!



And finally my last FAVORITE MeL resource, World Book for Kids. I love how you are able to filter by gender, Artistic Medium, Cultural heritage, and time period. I believe my students will benefit from this advanced/reliable research tool!

Web Evaluation:

Joyce Valenza’s Elementary Website Evaluation Criteria:



Click here to view a complete PowerPoint presentation on the topic.

Critical Evaluation using Joyce Valenza’s Elementary Website Evaluation Rubric:

Click here to view the All About Explorers Website.

  1. Content: Upon first glance the website looks reliable based on the available content.  Cross checks prove information provided is accurate.
  2. Authority/Credibility: If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will find that the website was produced using WordPress. This for me is a red flag. I’m creating this Blog using WordPress…enough said. If you view the “All About the Authors” Page you will find more information that leads me to believe that this website is NOT a reliable resource: “Gerald Aungst, BFA, MBA, DDS, is the Webmaster and Lead Designer for He works as a part-time custodian at Oceanside Community College in Casper, Wyoming, and frequently audits graduate level courses in differential histrionics when he is not sweeping and mopping the campus beach.” If you scroll all of the way to the bottom, however, you will find a hyperlink that says…”Hmm…not buying it? Click here for the real story” which links you to a “Site Authors: The Real Story” page which seems to be credible.
  3. Bias/Purpose: The website appears to have been created to inform an audience (students) about Explorers. It is a personal website (WordPress) and does not seem to present information in a biased matter.
  4. Usability/Design: The website appears to be legitimate based on it’s visual presentation.  All links work, layout is effective, a few noticeable spelling or grammar errors are present.

*Based on Joyce Valenza’s Website Evaluation Tool this website appears to be the hoax.  What is interesting is that you can easily see how our students would be tricked into thinking that this website is credible based on the fact that it appears to present information…and even passes several of the rubric quadrants!

Click here to view the NASA Website for Students.

  1. Content: The website appears to present accurate and complete information related to NASA.  The website appears to be up to date: last updated  June 21st, 2016.
  2. Authority/Credibility: If you use Joyce’s recommendation in “truncating back” in order to find the sponsor you find that the website started with the actual website…the recommended site can be found by clicking on the Education tab which is found on the original page.
  3. Bias/Purpose: It appears that the website was created in order to provide Education (Student/Teacher) NASA information. It is a government website (
  4. Usability/Design: The website is easy to navigate, is free of grammatical or spelling errors, and all links appear to work.

*Based on Joyce Valenza’s Website Evaluation Tool this website appears to be the “Real” website.  Without an easy comparison such as this one I would think that students could easily be tricked into thinking that any website they visit is credible. Great Rubric to add to our Technology “Tool Belt!!!”

Online Citation Makers:

For my online Citation Maker I decided to use  I remember being in college and dreading writing citations!  How exciting that a resource is now available to assist in the writing of Citations! Here is my Citation generated with bibme for a book that I am actually waiting to receive to read!




One thought on “Search Strategies

  1. Derica,
    Whew! I always think this is one of the more time-consuming modules with the site evaluations. Nice work. I’m glad you found such useful content through the MeL databases. These are also free for home use – parents just need to login using Mich. driver’s license or state ID# for students to access from home. Great resources!


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