Information Literacy Tools
Learn to Think, Learn to Learn.
About this Information Process Model
This model was developed from a New Zealand
Information Literacy meeting in 2004, to meet the needs
of seeing learning and information literacy as a journey..
hence STEPS. It has been trailed across a range
of curriculum areas (i.e. there is a version for science/
technology/art etc) and age groups (version for
junior classes) and has a range of supporting resources
to aid in implementation.
Steps is an Information model designed with an easy to use mnemonic that appeals to
The steps handouts are designed to get the point across in one page...
STEPS has a number of versions to suit the level or the curriculum area that it is
being used for. These include:
STEPS Junior version
STEPS Senior version (Senior Primary K6-12 to High School)
STEPS Science version
STEPS Technology version
STEPS Art version
Information Literacy models abound, but research indicates that the best way to
master the required skills, is to have a consistent model across a school.
Reinforce STEPS regularly / print and laminate / enlarge and have on display everywhere
Break down the process and teach it systematically in carefully scaffolded steps.
Be aware that teaching in context is vital but some skills need to be taught in isolation, to makes it
easier for kids to master them. Some children pick up skills naturally but others require a more
systematic approach, so a mixture of both is important.
Underlying skills to consider for isolated teaching ﬁrst are:
- Creating Questions
- Identifying Key Words
- Skimming and scanning
- Finding main ideas
- Interview Skills
- Differentiating between Fact and Opinion Plagiarism/acknowledging sources
You will ﬁnd that most kids will have the required ICT skills
shared amongst them but training on some ICT skills may be
Fat & Thin Questions
Fat questions ask of us,
What are the connections?
What are the patterns?
Why is this topic important?
The FAT question goes back to how much thinking is required to answer it.
“If you have to think about the answer a lot, it is a fat question”
A FAT question will not only involve ﬁnding some information, but looking for
connections between the information, ranking or coming up with an opinion about
the information found, using comparisons and looking for patterns.
Just making a summary list of things is a thin answer but comparing them with
another or applying them to a new situation means that original thinking is required
and the question is a FAT one.
FAT questions should also require thoughtful answers, often based on
supporting questions that help ﬁnd the answer to the FAT question, and usually
require supporting evidence and thoughts about connections to back them up.
“What is snow skiing and snow boarding?”
Thin is: “What is a possum?”
(This leads to a long list, often copy and paste and little
thinking. No comparison is inherent in the question.)
FAT is: “Which sport, snow boarding or skiing,
would it be better for me to turn pro in?” (this
brings in a real world context )
FATTER: “If you put a possum into Thailand
would it survive and become a pest?”
To answer these questions you now have to ﬁnd information, take
notes, summarise, organise, make decisions There is a lot “fatter”
The Biggest Fattest
“Compare two number systems and describe how they are
used in their society”
• Mindmap: using inspiration.
• Write supporting questions.
• What symbols are used in the number
system?(eg Egyptian, Babylonian, etc
• How do we count using the number system.
• Where do we see these number systems?
• Who uses the number system?
• What is the history behind the number
• How often do we use them?
• Plan and decide how you will reach your
• Underline and make a list of keywords.
• Where will you ﬁnd your information?
• Jot down keywords from your questions
• Think of synonyms to your keywords and
make a list.
• Tech tip: Type up your list in microsoft word
highlight a word in your list, right click and
choose “Synonyms” then “Thesaurus”
• “Get Muscles in Keywords.......” Activity
Get Muscles in Keywords…..
! For effective keywords use, you need to sometimes read some background information on the
topic, and jot down keywords that come up. Look for sets and patterns in the information.
! Think of synonyms of the keywords and write these down. (Your wordprocessor may help!)
! Try for simpler information by using words like: introduction, kids, facts, fascinating facts, easy
! Use the right search engine…
Underline/highlight the keywords in these questions.
Who first climbed Everest? Why did people fly to the moon?
Who was first to come to New Zealand? What is the fastest bird?
Was Hitler a good leader? How did slaves get treated in Ancient Rome?
Why did they build pyramids? Why did the Early settlers come to New Zealand?
For the topics/ questions below write down as many keywords that you think will help “unlock”
and find the information you require.
How did Finding Nemo start?
How was Finding Nemo made?
How has technology changed in
filming from Snowwhite to Nemo?
How seals survive in Antarctica
Differences between Seals in
Antarctica and N.Z.
Why did people fly to the moon?
Comparing Food in ancient Egypt
to food in N.Z. today
Comparing Gods in Ancient Egypt
to Gods in NZ.
What was the journey of the first
people to N.Z. like?
Who were some of the first people
to N.Z? Why did they come?
What is the difference between
tourism today and in early 1900’s?
Why is the fastest bird so fast?
What was Hitler like as a leader
compared to Martin Luther King?
What makes up a journey?
• Use the most appropriate source.
“Information Sources” handout.
• Try for simpler information by using words
like: Introduction, kids, facts, fascinating facts,
• “Searching the Internet” Activity Sheet
Using a Search Engine - eg
• Write a list of keywords ﬁrst, Many of these will come from your
• Choose the best 3 or 4 keywords that focus on your topic. Choose
these keywords carefully they will help “ﬁnd the needle in the hay
• Reﬁne your search by adding more words if your ﬁrst search does not
• If you are wanting to ﬁnd a phrase try using quotation marks “ “
• Use the advanced search page.
• Tech Tip: Use tab browsing if you are using safari press and hold the
“apple” key and click on the links provided on you google search
Chinese: newspapers, internet,
chinese products, chinese
cookbooks, chinese shopes,
chinese resturants, in china
THESE ARE these ARE
Numerals Everyday clocks
SOME some romaN
Roman Numerals : clocks, churches, Everyday
watchers, mathematics, some word Everyday clocks
documents, music books, everyday watches.
ROMAN.. THE ROMANS USE A
SPECIAL METHOD OF
Based on the
Now you have finished…….
How well did your presentation go?
Did people understand what you
were saying? Were they interested?
What feedback did you get?
What did you learn?
What did you change as you went
through the STEPS?
What would you do differently next
Assessing Information Process Skills
Questioning: The researcher can discover a problem or issue within topic
10 Independently establishes an issue or problem which requires further investigation or solutions following
the initial exploring of a topic. Can create detailed Concept maps as a topic progresses.
6 Can Brainstorm. Can create questions and/or Concept-maps about topics with adult or peers help, to focus
on issues and problems
2 Needs an adult or others to create questions and topics
Planning: The researcher can identify what sources would be most useful to gather information
10 Selects appropriate sources independently and efficiently
6 Selects sources with some results
2 Wanders from source to source without questioning which source will be most helpful
Gathering: The researcher collects information that can be used
10 Collects and organizes the information for easy use. Able to re-model concept maps
6 Collects information with an element of organization.
2 Unable to collate some of the most important information. Little change of gathered information
Synthesizing: The researcher recreates from the gathered information solutions to the initial problems/issues/
10 Creates totally original solutions
6 Recombines a mixture of solutions from sources
2 Presents solutions that others have created
Evaluating: The researcher is able to evaluate the solutions they propose
10 Shows constant reflecting skills, can make suggestions for future changes, demonstrated awareness of
strength or supporting information and responded
6 Shows awareness that supporting information is missing, is able to identify some areas where they can
improve in the future
2 Conclusions or solutions show little supporting information. Cannot see any areas that need change in
what they have done.
Reporting: The researcher can communicate findings appropriately to the target individual/group
10 Creates and presents an original product which effectively addresses original problem, questions, issues or
has creative insight
6 Presents some insights in reference to the original problem, questions or issues
2 Presents the work or thoughts of others
Marking as above will give a result out of 50 which can be turned into a % mark.