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Information Literacy Toolkit

Lesson plans and conversation prompts for learning about the ARCL Framework

Reading Strategically Lesson Plan

Time: 12 minutes, depending on options
Topics: Introduction to reading scholarly articles, especially for assignment use. The focus for this lesson will vary depending on your class (science or humanities, assignment-focused or general), so it is designed to be customizable.
Learning styles: textual, aural (discussion)
ACRL Mapping: “[learners] match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools” Searching as Strategic Exploration ; “monitor gathered information and assess for gaps or weaknesses” Research as Inquiry
Resources: handouts (Article Autopsy Handout, article print outs), lesson plan


Work Smarter, Not Harder

image using a truck to rake leaves

Reading in an academic setting is different from reading for pleasure. The materials will be different (think of how dissimilar your favourite novel is from an academic article) and your motivation for reading will be different, due to assignment and time constraints.

Scanning academic articles is not only not cheating - it’s actually encouraged so that you can get an overview of what the article is about before jumping in. Reading strategically is a great way to determine whether or not the resources you have found will be worth reading and will be useful for your assignment.

Option 1: Scavenger Hunt


The instructor will hand out physical copies of a scholarly article. Students should work in pairs to find as many of the articles sections as possible, using the article autopsy worksheet for reference. Take this worksheet up as a class and identify the different sections.

Option 2: Lightning Assessment


The instructor will hand the students that article autopsy handout and have them read it over. Then, the instructor will have the students form groups. Each group will be given a different scholarly article, and all students have two minutes to identify what the article is about. After the two minutes are up, the groups must describe the article and decide whether or not they would use it for their assignment.


What is this article about? Would it be useful for your assignment - why? What is the author's argument and main points? Are there any major weakenesses?