A Topic Explorer in your classroom

A Topic Explorer in your classroom

A tool for students and teachers alike

There are many ways in which the Topic Explorer can be used to support learning in the classroom. Here are a few handy hints to get you started.

Students using the Topic ExplorerUsing the Topic Explorer. This image is all rights reserved.

The Topic Explorer provides resources that present a range of perspectives and approaches to thinking about a particular topic. It's a useful tool to use at the beginning of a topic to help students brainstorm ideas, as it will enable them to think broadly about a topic and consider different viewpoints when planning their inquiry.

You can use it to demonstrate how to use and interpret a wide range of sources, as topics included in the Topic Explorer contain images, articles, websites, videos and books.

All of the resources included in the Topic Explorer have been given proper attributions, which are clearly stated under the main image of each resource. This provides a great opportunity to teach students about issues such as copyright, plagiarism and the importance of citing the sources they use, when researching information.

The Topic Explorer provides a ready collection of resources appropriate for primary through to secondary level students. We have carefully selected resources from non-commercial, reputable, trustworthy sites, which means you don’t have to spend hours looking for appropriate resources for your students to use.

It also includes a variety of resources that are relevant to New Zealand, as many of the resources come from the National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library, Archives New Zealand, and other national cultural organisations. These New Zealand, Pasifika, and Māori resources give an essential national or cultural context to a topic.

The Inquiry Exemplars in the Topic Explorer are a great resource for teachers to show how resources in a range of formats can be used to support inquiry. They can also be used to teach students how to plan an inquiry as they include examples of inquiry questions and provide linked resources that can be used to support their inquiry.

More hand-picked resources are coming

We are adding new topics to Topic Explorer every week so keep an eye out, and please don’t forget to give us your feedback by emailing servicestoschools@dia.govt.nz!

By Amy Jacob

Amy is a Librarian (Online Services) with Services to Schools.

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