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AHS Subject Guides: World Language: Mirci: Amazon Project

This site holds lessons in which the librarians have collaborated with World Language Teachers

Evaluating Online Resources: Animals in the Amazon

Claudia Mirci

Spanish III-1

Evaluating Online Resources: Animals in the Amazon Rainforest (updated 1-2020)

Information literacy topics:

-Evaluating sources

-Determining best sources

-Searching strategies for information

-Using technology tools


Objective: To learn to find relevant and reliable open web research sources, to evaluate these sources for reliability, and to use appropriate technology tools.


1.Go to activity guide online at:

Amity websiteHigh SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online StuffBy SubjectWorld LanguageClass ProjectsMirciSpanish III-1Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources


2. Individual Analysis:

We have all heard about the gradual destruction and degradation of the Amazon rainforest, which in Spanish is often referred to as “los pulmones de la tierra”. Your goal is to find as much reliable information as you can about the threats to wildlife in the Amazon.

Skim this document. Look at the beginning and the end of the document, as well as the web information.


For animal research: The Sloth: Facts

For Amazon research: The Amazon


2.b. Respond to this statement. You have 3 minutes:

“This web resource has been judged to offer credible information that is appropriate for academic research. Find at least 3 reasons to show that this is true.”


3. Share reasons why this website is appropriate for research (why the information here can be trusted).


4. Brainstorm and list various search terms from a topic sentence.

“The cumulative effects of deforestation and other industrial and development activities in the Amazon are leading to the loss of habitat that is responsible for placing more animals at risk of extinction.”

-Think of key words or common expressions specific to the topic

-Think of synonyms:

-Think of the most important terms:

-Think of terms that might sometimes be too limiting:

-Use “...” for phrases, ANDs, ORs, and parenthesis to structure search


Sample search: Amazon, animals, extinction


5. Practice: Search for a reliable research site, identifying the following information on this FORM. The source does NOT have to be reliable; all that matters is evaluating it thoroughly.


Sample Search Results: Reliable Source


World Wildlife Fund: The Amazon

The premier organization for animal protection in the world, the WWF gives a great overview of the situation in the Amazon, with species-specific information under the main tabs. The Amazon (from the World Wildlife Fund)

A sub-site of the World Wildlife Fund, Panda has information specifically about animals under “Species” in the left-hand sidebar.


Sample Search Results: Good, but less authoritative Source


Amazon Aid Foundation

While centered around media work to bring attention to the need to protect the Amazon, and thus not a science-based organization, this non-profit organization still has some interesting, if not fully authoritative, resources on different species.  Look under “Resources”.


Rainforest Trust

Another non-profit, its work is outlined in individual projects in different areas of the world. Look under the different “Projects” under “Our Work”.


Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources: Student Notes


Evaluation Criteria for Web Sources


-Who created it? Is this person (or organization) a qualified, reputable, expert? Is she authoritative (reliable)?

-What is the information like? Is it accurate, giving complete coverage, well-written, well-organized? Does it cite its sources? Are those sources reliable?

-Where is the information from? Where is the site stored? Remember that just having a page stored in a university does not mean the university backs your information.

-Why was the information or site created? Was the goal to present information objectively in a balanced way? If it aims to convince, does it address different points of view? Do the presenters have an identifiable political, ideological, or commercial goal that might slant their information?

-When was it created? Is it current? (sometimes currency/recent is not important)

-Conclusion: reliable for your purpose?  YES/NO?


Where do I find this information:

Who -- Look in and follow-up people and organizations in:

About / Contact / “byline” (credits) / bottom of page / sidebars /

What --  Read and analyze content information in:

Titles / Text / Citations and References

Where --  Look in and follow-up on site and organization information in:

About / Contact / URL / Domain name

Why --  Look in and follow-up on author, site, and organization information in:


When --   Look in:

bottom of page / sidebars / subtitle / “byline” (credits)

Database Searching and the Power of Limiters


Claudia Mirci

Spanish III-1

Database Searching and the Power of Limiters: the Amazon (updated 1-2020)

Information literacy topics:

-Determining best sources

-Searching strategies for information

-Evaluating sources

-Using technology tools


1: Find the activities for this class, at:

Amity websiteHigh SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online StuffBy SubjectWorld LanguageClass ProjectsMirciSpanish III-1Database Searching and the Power of Limiters\

2. Objective: What do we want to accomplish today?

To perform an efficient search for peer-reviewed academic journal articles, and/or magazine and newspaper articles on a given topic, using limiters in a college-level database (EBSCO’s GreenFile)


3. Discussion: Choosing the best resource:

GreenFile: Fom the publisher EBSCO, GreenFile provides full text for more than 13,000 articles. Its subjects include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and recycling,


Environmental Topics, All Formats



Databases on other topics:        

Academic Search Complete

All Topics, All Formats, 9000 Academic Journals



Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Education Topics, All Formats




4. Discussion:  Searching strategies (Search Terms)


-Take note of your surroundings:  Look at main menus, search options, etc..

-Search box:

-Always give yourself more options with an “Advanced Search”.

Consider what you are searching for: Title? Author? Subject? Word in text?

-Start simple.  You can always add more words to narrow down.

-Too many results and not really relevant? (e.g. “turtle”) Add more words to narrow down.

-Too few results? “Turtle excluder device shrimping industry” Broaden your search with fewer words.

-Use more advanced techniques:

-Try with synonyms or related words (turtle, turtles, excluder, excluding, exclud*. etc.)

-Use commands (“operators”) to narrow down: AND (to get both terms), OR (for one OR the other), NOT (to filter out the word), apostrophes around several words like “turtle excluder” or “turtle excluder device” to get the exact phrase

-Always limit to full-text, if it is what you need.

-Notice what appears when you start to type “turtle”. How many results do you get? How does it change when you add “excluder”. How about “exclud*”?

-Focus on results, and LEFT sidebar

-Notice the number of hits for each Source Type.

-Notice other “limiters”. Which are useful for our search?


5. Discussion: Searching strategy: Limiters


-Notice the number of hits for each Source Type.

-Use checkbox “limiters” on the LEFT sidebar to LIMIT your search by:


-Publication Date

-Source Type (only Academic Journals? Magazines? Newspapers?)


-When you identify a good source/article:

-Choose a relevant article, and notice the related SUBJECTS.

-Follow up on subject leads that appear in relevant articles. Remember, hey were chosen by humans: (how about “TURTLE excluder devices”, “BYCATCHES (Fisheries)”?).

-Save your chosen results to avoid losing stuff (use personal lists, email, notes/citation tools, etc.). Add a user name and password to save searches and results.

Online Interactive Infographics with Infogram

Claudia Mirci

Spanish III-1

Online Interactive Infographics with Infogram: El Amazonia (updated 4-2020)

Information literacy topics:

-Communicating new knowledge

-Using technology tools


Learning Expectations: 

-  Academic-Problem-solving: “Students will use appropriate tools strategically to solve problems.”


ISTE Student Standards:

6. Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

6.a. Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.

6.c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.


Objective: To effectively use a tool to create interactive infographics to share information.


What is an infographic?

An infographic is a visual way of presenting information using charts, maps, images, vectors, symbols, etc., to help make the information more clear and interesting.


What is Infogram?

Infogram is a Google app, available under your GSuite for Education account, that allows you to create a sophisticated web page to present complex information using graphics.


What can I do with the free version of Infogram?

With Infogram you can publish a freely-available link on the web.  It allows you to have:

10 projects 

13 maps

10 image uploads

There are many limitations for free accounts, but you can create an effective infographic web page within these limitations.


Getting started:

You can connect Infogram for a project, and later, if you want to, disconnect it from your Google account (In “Drive”, go to “Settings” under the gear, and “Manage Apps”).

Connect the InfoGram App:

- Go to Google Drive:

- In the “New” menu, go to “More: Connect more apps”

- Search for Infogram

- Click “Connect”


Open a new Infogram document:

- Go to Google Drive:

- In the “New” menu, go to “”Infogram” (or, once signed into Google, go to:

- Go through the prompts, adding NAME/STUDENT/SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY

- Choose a new template 

- Add a new, blank page, and erase the pre-populated page


View the sample:

- Take a look at this very simple example of an Infogram site.


Start adding elements to your webpage:

- Add Titles and Text

This is the place to choose a font style, add a link, or animate the way you want the text to appear or disappear.

- Add Charts and Quantitative Graphics

You can choose a chart style, and add your own data, or link to a Google spreadsheet, or other chart.  Change the color, style, legend, values, or animate it.

- Add Map: 

Search for a specific map, and choose which information you want to be made available. Then customize your map options. Note: most maps are NOT available for free.

- Add Images and Graphics

Choose one of the stock images, upload your own, crop it, animate it, add a mask.

- Add Shapes, Colors, etc.

- Add Other Media (YouTube/Vimeo/Flickr, etc.)


Share and Publish

- Click on “Share”, copy the link, and post it!

- The free version of Infogram only gives the option of public viewing.


To find your work again:

- It is not obvious where to find your work. 

- Go to Google Drive:

- In the “New” menu, go to “”Infogram” (or, once signed into Google, go to:


Other possible tools for hosting online social action campaigns:

- Google Sites: A single-page web site made with Google Sites, with video, embedded charts, maps, can be very effective. 

Go to Drive, and the

If it is not in the list, go to More from Google, and scroll down to see all Google Apps.

Look at these examples of what you can put in a Google Site, from this school in Somewheresville, USA.

- Book Creator: Make your own 100% flippable books, adding all kinds of media, including videos


Possible tools for recording your video:

- Cellphone: Record your audio or video

- Webcam: Record your audio or video

- Zoom: Record yourself and other participants singing a 4-part song about protecting the Potoo bird.

- Google Meet: Similar to Zoom.

- Screencastify: Record yourself narrating a slideshow, and/or explaining something with your webcam.

Cool things:

- Google Earth Timelapse: Look at this project to see images of how deforestation has affected areas of the Amazon, just since 1984!

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017