Step Four – What are you looking for?

Let’s be honest, patrons don’t sponsor explorers to just go and wander around until they bump into something. People with money sponsor those who have a focus and know what they are looking for. So early explorers had to know why they wanted to take a journey if they wanted the supplies they would need.

Young explorer, look at your list of words you have developed, the list of things you believe are facts and the opinions you have. Just before you go out and explore there are two things you should do:

  1. Identify the information you are missing. What do you need to know to answer your great, big, wonderful question.
  2. Make a map, a web or diagram of your subject. Make sure you have a main subject and  supporting subjects. You can probably simply arrange the information you have to complete this. I hope, however, you will find you were missing something and are able to add it before the search is on!

You are almost ready to go!

Here are the standards you are covering:


MSLA 1.16 Identify pre-existing knowledge, as well as additional information necessary to solve the problem.

MSLA 2.13 Web, map, or diagram a main topic with sub-topics.




Dear Explorers,

You are looking for something. Why? Why do you want to know? What will you do with the things you learn?

The early explorers were looking for a way to make their food taste better. Their goals were:

  1. Find a quicker, safer way to get to the spices.
  2. Get the spices (and have better tasting food along the way)
  3. Sell those spices and get rich.
  4. Eat better tasting food.

It seems really complicated to those of us who can run out to the store and select spices from shelves of little bottles or cans. The early explorers risked life and limb to get cinnamon.

You, dear Explorer, probably don’t have such high stakes. Your future may not rest upon your findings. Yet it is lonely to have gained information about your passion and have no one to share it with. It is much more satisfying to share your knowledge and have people to share the thrill of discovery.

So what are you going to do with this new knowledge you have? Hide it in a cave? Don’t be silly.

There are so many ways of sharing your passion with the world. Here are simply a few things to make to get you thinking:

  • a video
  • a slideshow
  • a puppet show
  • a board game
  • a playground game
  • an app
  • a poster
  • a paper doll
  • a sculpture
  • a mobile
  • interview questions and interview with a leader in the field
  • an article for a magazine or journal
  • wallpaper for your computer
  • a song
  • a greeting card
  • a guide for a newbie
  • a party or event
  • a report to your boss about the state of….
  • an advertisement
  • a newspaper or magazine article

Before you start your exploration give it some thought. Write down the focus of your exploration and what you hope to do with that information.

Project Format Worksheet

Want to know what standards you are covering? Here they are:

Massachusetts School Library Association Standards:

1.5 With assistance, list the criteria for a research assignment.

1.6 Demonstrate overall understanding of the final product, e.g., “I need to create a multimedia presentation, poster, essay, etc.”

1.11 Understand the criteria for the research assignment.

1.12 Explain what the final product will look like.