Yes, you read that right! Gwigle is a site that bills itself as “an educational game to help you use Google more effectively.” Apparently, Gwigle has been around for awhile (since 2006, at least), but I just discovered it. The concept is that you are given a short list of search results, and you have to guess the search term. Along the way, you are given access to different search tips, and learn a little about how to refine your searches. I think that Google searches have changed a bit in the last 6 years, but it’s still a fun and challenging game that teaches some basic search skills. If you are interested in trying it, or having your students try it, I found a very helpful blog post by “Sophie”, in which she listed all of the answers. Another idea might be to develop your own Gwigle type game in the classroom, possibly using vocabulary words or historical events as search terms, and using it as a different way to review for your students.
Google for Educators offers several free resources. One of the links will take you to a suite of free classroom posters. As I was recently discussing how to “narrow down a search” with my gifted students, I found the “Google Search Tips for Kids” poster to be exceptionally helpful. If you are looking for other Google resources regarding searching, there is also a “Search Education” site by Google that offers lesson plans on how to “effectively use web search.” Here is a link to some slides that display “Google a Day” challenges for practicing search skills or you can visit the live “Google a Day” challenge on the web.