Develop Information Literacy
and Critical Thinking Skills


AskKids is a safe, age-appropriate search engine for young people ages 6 to 12. The site focuses on learning and “edutainment.” A valuable feature of the site is the search prompts that help students narrow or expand their searches.

Students can access the “Schoolhouse” to easily search school topics in math, science, history and language arts in an environment more age-appropriate than traditional, adult search engines. Unfortunately the results pages include “Sponsored Results” at the top and bottom of the pages.

Other highlighted areas on the home page include “Movies,” “Games,” and “Images.”

21st Century Skills

The American Association of School Librarians’ publication Standards for the 21st Century Learner states that students should “use skills, tools, and resources to inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.”

The site's prompts for narrowing and expanding searches develop several 21st century skills and dispositions that are outlined in Standards for the 21st Century Learner -

1.1 Skills
1.1.1 Follow an inquiry- based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects, and make the real- world connection for using this process in own life.
1.1.3 Develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding.
1.1.8 Demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry.

Dispositions in Action
1.2.1 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collection of superficial facts.
1.2.5 Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to achieve success.

In the Classroom

Keywords or phrases can be used in the search bar to search for information.

After entering a search term or phrase, alternative search terms are given on the left side of the results page. Students receive prompts that help them narrow or expand their search.

Pre-selected images related to the topic search appear on the right side of the results page.

Other Search Features:

Ask Conversion Tool: Children can use the conversion tool to convert currency, temperature, weights and other units of measurement. Search Examples: How many feet in a mile? Meters to inches

Dictionary Search: Children can search the online dictionaries and thesauri for definitions and pronunciation. Search Examples: Define biome. Definition of biome. What does biome mean?

Weather Search: Searches can give the latest weather information from around the world. Search Examples: weather 71201, weather in Houston Texas


Introduction to Using AskKids video

Safety Concerns

The editorial team selected each web site in the site’s core search index. Their focus was to select age-appropriate and relevant sites for learning. states that these sites and web sites linked to the core list are filtered to remove adult content. It is important to remember, however, that no filtering system is 100% foolproof and students should still be monitored during searches.

Example: If you search for “hot girls” at, you get a “Sorry, Your search did not match any web results” page.

Return from the Ask Kids page to the Information Literacy page.

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