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G    Gather

G   Gather
Chapter 4
I AM A GOOD STUDENT Study Skills Program
By: Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.


Research skills on computer and in the library as well as note-taking skills are discussed and developed in the GATHER step. Each skill is discussed, taught and implemented.



1. Be prepared with the appropriate paper and pens or pencils at the beginning of each class. Always date each page and put on the subject and source.

2. Listen carefully. Keep your mind on what the teacher is saying. Try not to look at or think of anything else. Listen for key words from the teacher such as: "Remember this," "This is important," "Finally." Listen to your teacher's voice. Louder words are often important to write down and remember 

3. Watch the speaker closely. Forms of gestures, facial expressions, items written on the board, certain types of pauses, the way the teacher emphasizes and illustrates a point or concept -vocally, dramatically, quietly or with some particular device like a picture, slide object, etc. can provide clues to important information.

4. Take notes in your own words. Don't write down every word the teacher says. Write the important words and phrases to help you to remember. Quotes, rules, laws or formulas should, however, be written exactly.

5. Shorten words and use phrases instead of sentences. 

6. Write down the main ideas and supporting details in a preliminary outline form or write the main idea and then indent as you write the supporting details. 

7. Fold your paper in half the long way. Write on the right side and leave the other side to add information you might get later, or skip a line in between each line of notes to add additional facts.

8. Use abbreviations to help you such as the following: e.g. for example

  • w/ (with)
  • w/o (without)
  • re: (regarding)
  • etc. (et cetera)
  • = (equal)
  • b/c (because)
  • b/t (between)

9. Rewrite your notes the same day that you take them to clarify ideas and to add additional information.


Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature Helps to locate information in magazines and tells you where to find articles about any subject. The Guide provides the subject, title, author, the magazine, its volume number, page number and the date of the magazine.


ENCYCLOPEDIAS are books that are comprehensive summaries in the various fields of knowledge, arranged alphabetically. 


YEARBOOKS and ALMANACS are usually single volume, annual compilations of facts covering a specific field. 

DIRECTORIES are books of special interest listings of people, places, services, events arranged for easy reference. 

DICTIONARIES are alphabetically arranged concise, definitions of words and phrases, with spelling, syllabication, pronunciation, derivations, inflexions, synonyms, antonyms and sometime illustrations. 

ATLASES are collections of maps and geographical data.


Search Engines 

The most time efficient method to identify information on a subject you are doing research on is to utilize a Search Engine. What follows are some the most useful search engines today with a link to them:

Search Engines in order of their current use by the public

1. Google: 

2. Yahoo:

3. Bing:

4. Ask:  

5. AOL:


Google powered Search Engines:

1. Google:

2. Google Book Search-Finds full text of books from most publishers:

3. Google Scholar-Gives you the full text, abstracts, and/or citations to scholarly materials including books, journal articles, documents in academic repositories and the free Web. From this search engine you to access the full text of articles in journals to which most Libraries subscribe to:




1. Go over the steps and suggestions for good note taking and then post the list for the children's reference.


2. Prepare a lecture designed to enhance note taking skills. Have the children listen, take notes and then discuss the results


3. Discuss the abbreviations that can be used in note taking and then provide exercises to practice their use.


4. At the Kindergarten and First Grade levels, discussions can be held and then main ideas to be remembered, can be listed. This can be done in the form of words or pictures.


5. Role play the correct procedures for note taking skills and the use of reference tools.


6. Bring in examples of each form of reference tool and demonstrate its use with prepared questions designed to maximize the use of these tools.


7. Make Centers for each internet reference tool with prepared questions, thus providing the student with the opportunity to learn to use these materials on their own.


8. Show appropriate films, filmstrips and videos demonstrating the use of proper note taking skills and use of the newest internet reference tools.


9. Computer skills should be dealt with on an individual basis with each specific student and teacher.

Worksheet #1: Using Search Engines to find this Information

Up-to-date information, tables, and statistics on a wide range of subjects can be found by use of the Search Engines on the Internet. To find the facts you need, just type in the subject in the Search Engine's Search Box and click enter. What subject could you search on a Search Engine to find the answer to each of these questions? Write the subjects in Column A. Using the Search Engine, find the answers and write them in Column B.



A. Subject used in Search Engine

B. Answer 

1. What major league baseball player holds the record for the most home runs in a season



2. Who was the Women's Singles Tennis Champion at Wimbledon last year?



3. When did the first United States manned space flight take place?



4. What is the height of the tallest mountain in the world? 



5. Which team in the National Football League won the most recent Super Bowl Game?



6. If you were on the smallest continent in the world, where would you be?






Worksheet #2: Come up with an Answer for these Items

The list below may look like something a bird-watcher would use. But each name on the list is also the full or partial name of at least one geographic site (town, country, mountain or mountain peak located in the United States or Canada). Look up each name on a Search Engine, and find out where it is. Then identify it, and give its location.


Bird’s Name

Geographic sites(s) with this name

Where each of these bird named sites are located
























































Worksheet #3: Fact Finding

A. Try to use different Search Engines to find answers to the following.

1. List three facts you find about the population of North America. 

Fact 1:


Fact 2:


Fact 3:


List the Search Engine(s) used:


2. Who have been the Prime Ministers of Great Britain since 1972? 


List the Search Engine used:


3. List three people who have won a Pulitzer Prize. 







List the Search Engine used:


4. Name a noted women who is identified by a Search Engine as being an important Historical Figure: 

What is she noted for?

Then list the Search Engine(s) used:


B. On a Search Engine, locate a biography of a person of your choice and then list:

Person’s Name:

Three interesting facts about the person:

Fact 1:


Fact 2:


Fact 3:


List the Search Engine(s) used: