I have the duty of preparing students for a debate contest in March. One of the steps for this preparation is teaching students how to research. I came across Google Public Data Explorer I found it to be the perfect introduction to researching. The graphs displayed are interactive, and the connection to the World Bank’s facts and figures makes it extremely easy to find and compare figures and statistics of the world and individual countries.
As I am dealing with 10th Grade Japanese students, I treated this activity as an introduction. Students worked in pairs and were given two tasks to fill:
- Choose any two countries and compare their population from any year.
- Compare Japan’s internet users from any two years.
Students were given five minutes for each task. After time had elapsed, students had to present their findings, starting with the following phrase, “According to the World Bank…”
Such an activity I believe can give a brief introduction to research, give students a student-centered approach to learning how to read graphs, and how to state both the information researched and how to reference it in speech.