Last Tuesday, we had a parent session for grades 2 to 5 titled: Principled Inquirers in grades 2 to 5. One of the skills that principled inquirers use is giving credit to the sources that help them arrive at their answers. We call this “citing our sources” and each instance of that is a “citation.” Our school uses the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format.
MLA citations are slightly different depending on the source consulted, i.e., a citation for a book is slightly different to that of a personal interview or a website article, but they all try to answer the following questions:
- Who – is the creator/originator of the information?
- What – is the title of the source?
- Where – was the information published?
- When – was the information published?
One additional “When” question asks, “When was the information accessed” if the source is online.
On Tuesday, we spoke about the progression of citation skills we expect from our students in grades 2 to 5. We also spoke about citation-ready databases.
Databases are online collections of articles that are accessed through a portal. Databases are sources of authoritative, accurate and reliable information. One of the benefits of using databases for research is that they often supply citations ready to be copied and included in student’s bibliographies.
The following subscription databases are “citation-ready” meaning that they will provide citations for students. We subscribe to these databases on behalf of our community. Students are taught by the librarians and their classroom teachers to access them via the library OPAC. Please let us know if you are a member of the IST community and you need help accessing our databases.
PebbleGo – A database for students in preK to grade 2. We have two collections: Animals and Earth & Space. The database is arranged via a graphic interface that makes it easy for our younger students to find the topic of their choice. See the screenshot below with the citation button on a sample article.
Britannica Online School Edition – The school edition of the famous Encyclopedia Britannica offers three different levels of reading ability. All three levels provide citations for their articles. Students can copy and paste directly into their bibliographies. Students from grade 4 are expected to copy the full citation.
Britannica Image Quest – a collection of searchable, high quality images. Each image has a full citation that can be copied and pasted. For many school projects in the elementary school, students are allowed to write the phrase “Images from Britannica Image Quest.” More formal projects require students in grade 5 to include the full citation for each image.
WorldBook Online – Like Britannica School Edition, WorldBook Online offers three levels of reading difficulty and citations for each article.
BrainPop – This is a very popular database with our students. It has short videos on a variety of school topics. Although BrainPop does not include ready citations, there is a FAQ page that explains how to cite a BrainPop movie. Note that you need to add the word “Web.” to the citation.