Using The Google Year in Search to Create Lesson Plans in 2016!

A lot happens in a year. In December, with 2015 coming to a close, Google Trends released their fifteenth annual “Year In Search,” a report that aggregates a year’s worth of information about what people around the globe have been searching and transforms it into a free, easy-to-use database of search trends. Who was the most googled college athlete of 2015? The most widely searched news headline? What country googled the social-emotional resiliency scale the most in 2015? These are all questions that Google’s Year in Search can answer at the click of a mouse.

Beyond its obvious benefits to marketers and social scientists, Google’s Year in Search presents a remarkable opportunity for students. In a world where information is increasingly at our fingertips 24-hours a day, where search engines answer our questions before our brains have time to properly punctuate them, challenging students to delve into information in sustained or meaningful ways is an increasingly difficult task. The Year in Search provides teachers a navigable and interactive source of quantitative information that their students can use beyond fact-finding and spell-checking, providing students the opportunity to dig in and analyze data that pertains directly to their lives and their interests.

In the introduction to Go Blended, author Liz Arney explains, “We recognize that as adults, our lives are heavily dependent on technology; we also acknowledge that our students, whom we send off to college each year, would be using technology heavily in everything they would do in college.” Few will contend that our world as a whole is moving away from technology, from the internet, and from the 21st century ‘search.’ We encourage educators to use the Year in Search as an opportunity to embrace the tools of our time and to challenge their students to do likewise, teaching them to flex their analytical thinking to search rigorously, developing a skill that is truly timeless. There are innumerable ways to use Google’s Year in Search and we challenge you to get creative! A brief search yielded lesson plans in the hundreds, a number of which we have included here. Many of our authors discuss the challenges of teaching in the age of information as well, and we’re sharing these tools in hopes that they lend themselves to our authors’ methods. It’s a trifecta of information resources to get you on your way in 2016!

Google’s Year in Search

Search your way through a whole year’s worth of data, worldwide.

Google 2015Google Year in Search

Google HelpHelp With Using Google Year in Search

How to use

It can be tricky navigating the data and exporting it for other uses. These resources explain how to hone your searches and best utilize the data sets!

How to Use Google Trends

How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Searches

How to Use Google Trends to Track SEO

30 Innovative Ways to Use Google Trends in Education   


Watch a brief introduction to teaching search in the classroom.

WebinarTeaching Search in the Classroom Webinar: Developing a Search Mindset

Lessons Plans

Extracted from various open-source platforms (including our friends at Share My Lesson!) these lesson plans demonstrate creative ways to integrate search projects into curriculum.

Understanding Search Results

Google Search Tips

Anatomy of a Search

Narrowing a Search for Best Results

Searching for Evidence

Evaluating Credibility        

A Google a Day Challenges

Lesson Plan Map

Basic Research Development (MS)

Researching to Develop Understanding (HS)

Website Evaluation

Jossey-Bass Books

Some of our finest offerings on the topic of technology in the classroom, these texts should take the helm of your search integration and serve as a framework for the many projects the Year in Search may offer!

Classroom Teacher'sThe Classroom Teacher’s Technology Survival Guide

UntitledPersonalizing 21st Century Education: A Framework for Student Success

22Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners

.kasHDBuilding School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need

sjkdghakGO Blended!

sdjhfTeaching on the Education Frontier: Instructional Strategies for Online and Blended Classrooms G
rades 5-12

wjuhqegkSocial Media for School Leaders: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Most Out of Facebook, Twitter, and Other Essential Web Tools

Get your students in search of something great in 2016 and make it a year of learning that matters!


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