Welcome to the Big6

You can do BIG things with Big6 Skills! Big6 is a six-stage model to help anyone solve problems or make decisions by using information. Some call it information literacy, information communication, or ICT skills, or a process, but we call it the Big6.

Using the Big6 information literacy process, you will identify information research goals, seek, use, and assemble relevant, credible information, then to reflect— is the final product effective and was my process efficient. The Big6 information literacy process is completely transferable to any grade level, subject area, or workplace. Big6, state and national instructional standards, and your curriculum all work together hand-in-hand.


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MARCH is Big6 and Super3 POSTER MONTH! 10% Discount Code: B6S3Posters

Take 10% off all Big6 and Super3 Posters in the month of MARCH. Simply use the code: B6S3Posters when asked.

Click here for - 


Super3 Sam Poster Set (3 posters, 11      Super3

Super3 SAM                                 Super3 "Cat" Posters (Set of 3)
Code: B6M-S3S-PS3                   Code: B6M-S3PS
List: $19.95                                   List $19.95


 Big6 Secondary Poster (22x27)           Big6 Elementary      

Big6 Secondary Poster (22x27)            Big6 Elementary "InfoWorm" Poster     
Code: B6-LWA2496M                            Code: B6-P-E101
List: $19.95                                             List: $19.95                                            

 Big6 Elementary Poster Set (6 posters 11 x 17

Big6 Elem Poster Set (6 posters 11 x 17")
Code: B6-LW-B6PS                                         
List: $24.95
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Inquiry Based on Hawaiian Values, Traditions, Understandings - and the Big6

Terrific article in AASL's Knowlege Quest - By Nalani Naluai - \

Nov/Dec 2014 issue: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1045913.pdf 

Approaching the Inquiry Process from a Cultural Perspective

Very impressive and meaningful work blending traditional Hawaiian thought anbd approaches with the Big6!


Notetaking - Big6 stage #4 - Use of Information
Karen Krieger asked about "Note Taking Skills" on LM_NET - 

She only received one response - Big6 related. Here are some addition resources that may be useful - 
Power Point For Notetaking - Notetaking in the digital age - using PowerPoint for Big6 4.2 and 5.1
The Big6 Research Model #4: Use of Information (finding relevant info and notetaking) 
The Big6 Works: Empirical Evidence from One Middle School’s Experience
Project Information Literacy – the importance of helping students to learn digital notetaking
I know there are many new tools available - Evernote, OneNote, EasyBib, etc.  What do you use and why?

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Big6 and the Common Core

Great piece on Big6 and the Common Core in eSchool News - 

How the ‘Big6’ can aid in Common Core implementation

How the ‘Big6’ can aid in Common Core implementation


2014 Big6 eBook!

Big6 by the Month: Comprehensive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy for All Students

The Big6 by the Month ebook!

Big6 by the Month offers a conceptual underpinning and very practical means for implementing an effective and essential information literacy program that reaches every student.

The book is $44.00 with free shipping and handling (credited at checkout).




Thomas Friedman on "How to Get a Job at Google, Part 2"


I almost always have a problem with articles telling students what to do in order to succeed in the world - especailly those who suggest the a college education is NOT necessary.  Yes, as an educator I'm biased: learning trumps all.

This one - from award-winning writer Thomas Friedman - is different and worth sharing with young people. 

In particular, take a look at the last few paragraphs -  "How do you write a good resume?"  and "What's your best advice for job interviews."




New look for Project Information Literacy (PIL) website -http://projectinfolit.org/ along with the very best research and content concerning information literacy. 



Cathy is an author, professor at Duke University, and co-founder of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory). 

She discusses why distraction and disruption help to re-envision the K-20 classroom and learning and how "collaborative thinking" drives individuals' motivation and creativity in both education and the workplace. (Interview conducted: February 25, 2014).  http://projectinfolit.org/index.php/smart-talks/item/101-cathy-davidson-how-disruption-and-distraction-are-remaking-learning 

Information Literacy Study - Higher Education - Wake Forest University



Published in the Journal of Web Librarianship, 2009, this article describes an approach to teaching information literacy in an academic course. The article includes "an overview of the course framework, a review of course, contents, and an analysis of student responses provided through, pre- and post-course surveys. The premise of the course design was that students bring a set of technical and information skills to class that address specific but not generalized information literacy goals."

The approach is unique, in-depth, and well-beyond traditional information literacy approaches. Anyone interested in information literacy - for ANY age group - should take a look.

[thanks to Colet Bartow for sharing the link]

Big6 by the Month:

The Big6 by the Month ebook! - http://tinyurl.com/B6xM-ebook

Big6 by the Month: Comprehensive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy for All Students


It's time for information and communication technology literacy programs to reach every student in every school!  This book (and program) - Big6 by the Month - offers a conceptual underpinning and very practical means for implementing an effective and essential information literacy program.

ICT litearcy is THE key to student success in the 21st century and this book is a MUST for educators, schools, and districts focused on meeting the information and communication technology (ICT) skills required of 21st Century students.

The Big6 by the Month ebook is focused on helping classroom teachers, teacher-librarians, technology teachers, and administrators preK-12 design and deliver comprehensive ICT literacy programs that reach all students!

The book is $44.00 with free shipping and handling (credited at checkout).

The book will be delivered as a protected PDF copy of the book along with a unique pass code.  (Discounted group rates are available--please contact info(at)big6(dot)com for details).


Link to online purchase: http://tinyurl.com/B6xM-ebook 



Announcing New 2014 Big6/Super3 OnSite Workshop Discounts

Make plans now to schedule a Big6/Super3 On Site Workshop for your school or district.  Mike and Bob are excited to announce a 10% discount for Big6/Super3 Onsite Training Programs.

From one-day to multi-day training programs, Big6 On Site Workshops are interactive learning events personalized and designed to prepare school librarians, teachers and administrators to be able to implement dynamic Common Core Standards based information literacy instructional programs, across the K-12 curriculum.

For more information call Bob Berkowitz at 585/414-3852  or Email to Bob at Bob(dot)Berkowitz1000(at)gmail(dot)com .  Got to: http://big6.com/pages/workshops-events/onsite-workshops.php for more information.

Free Recorded Webinar: Inquiry Learning Big6-Style: It All Starts with Asking Great Questions!

Just released - video of LMC Webinar by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz!

CLICK HERE for the Recorded Video!

Inquiry Learning Big6-Style: It All Starts with Asking Great Questions!

Research shows that while good inquiry learning starts with asking good questions, most students find this very difficult to do. Research also shows that students are weakest in their Big6 Stage #1 (Task Definition) skills. In this fast-paced, recorded webinar, Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz will focus on strategies for improving students' question-formulation and other task definition skills for effective inquiry learning as well as success in any kind of learning approach or assignment.

CLICK HERE for the Recorded Video! 

Big6 by the Month - FREE OVERVIEW WEBINAR (recorded)

Greetings all!  

We are receiving requests for more information about the Big6 by the Month program - a systematic approach to ensuring that every student in a school learns essential information and technology literacy skills.  

Here's the best way to learn about Big6 by the Month - a free, recorded OVERVIEW webinar - from August 2013.  Please check it out - 

Big6 by the Month Overview Webinar 



New from Project Information Literacy: The Freshmen Study

 Project Information Literacy (PIL) released its seventh research report today.

The latest study is about first-year college students and the findings report is now available at:

"Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College," Alison J. Head, Project Information Literacy Research Report, December 4, 2013.

One of the major findings is that a decline in school library programs (number of professionals, collections, etc.) seems to coincide with fewer high school students learning research skills that transfer to college.

From the author:

"In this study, we investigate the challenges today's freshmen face, and the information-seeking strategies they develop, use, and adapt as they make the transition from high school to college and begin to complete college research assignments. Included are data from a comparative analysis of library resources in 30 US high schools and 6 colleges and universities; interviews with 35 first-term freshmen from 6 colleges and universities, and an online survey with 1,941 US high school and college student respondents."

Also released with this report are two related items about freshmen:

"Major Findings: PIL's Freshmen Study" (2:40) (December 2013)

How do today's freshmen make the critical transition from high school to college? What challenges do they face with finding and using information on their new campus? This PIL research preview highlights key findings from the 2013 PIL Freshmen Study, based on interviews with 35 freshmen from six U.S. colleges and universities. (No permission required for use of PIL videos.)

David Conley: "Deconstructing College Readiness" (December 5, 2013)

David Conley is a policy analyst and professor of educational policy and leadership at the University of Oregon. We interviewed David in October 2013, asking him what it means to be college ready today. We also discussed how he thinks students can acquire the research skills they will need to succeed in college and in their careers.

Thank you  Alison Head for another terrific research study and report.

"Research Like a Librarian Using 'Big6 Skills'

Nice piece about the Big6 on the New York Public Library website - 



Good job on explaining the Big6 process and how it makes a BIG difference.

Using the Big6/Super3: More on Putting the Common Core to Work - Free Recorded Webinar by Mike and Bob

Using the Big6/Super3: More on Putting the Common Core to Work

Bob Berkowitz and I presented a one-hour webinar for teacher-librarians about the Super3, Big6, and the Common Core on Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013. It was a follow-up on an earlier webinar, but we reviewed the basics as well as answered over a dozen questions.

Here's a link to the free webinar: 


Please let us know what you think!

From Sue Wurster - An Interesting Article About Learning
From Sue Wurster: "Here is an interesting article about learning. I like this quote and think it is highly relevant to Big6 work."

"Learners, today, must be comfortable in their ability to solve unanticipated challenges. They must have confidence in the very act of not knowing. They must be disposed to face challenges beyond their current knowledge and skills. This confidence at these critical moments will come from:

  • A performance support infrastructure that has anticipated their needs at the moment of solve;
  • The training learners have received to engage such tools in solving problems;
  • The on-the-job successes they have along the way; and,
  • Organizational acceptance of failed attempts that may happen in the process."

Are You Meeting All Five Moments of Learning Need? by Conrad Gottfredson & Bob Mosher : Learning Solutions Magazine
Task Definition for Moms!

Task Definition for Moms (courtesy of Sue Wurster)

Step-by-Step with The Survival Mom: Lesson 2, Define your disaster & Set priorities


I can see using this in a presentation to teachers!

Big6 Store - Back in Biz

We are back!!!  

The Big6 Amazon Store is now open again.  We are adding new inventory, but have plenty of blackline masters and the key books - Big6 in Elementary, Big6 in Secondary, and The Big6 Workshop Handbook.

Thanks for your interest and patience!

-- Mike Eisenberg and the Big6 team



Handouts for Texas Library Association Presentations
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Latest from Project Information Literacy -

Please check out this infograph - 


It's reference in this paper being presented at ACRL - http://conference.acrl.org/invited-papers-pages-265.php


For Teacher-Librarians Regarding BYOT - Bring Your Own Technology


Hi All - 

I just posted this message to LM_NET, the community for teacher-librarians. I thought I'd share it here as well:

Greetings LM_Netters! 

It's been a while since I've posted, but I do continue to lurk.  But - I HAD to post about this development and opportunity.

The school library field continues to experience a slow and painful decline in many states and communities. I won't go into the reasons, rather let's focus on some solutions.


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The Big6 and the Common Core - recording of free webinar -

The Big6 and the Common Core

FREE BIG6 WEBINAR - by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz - orginally held TUESDAY - March 12 - The Big6 and the Common Core




The Future?

Interesting graphic look at what the future might hold - Tomorrow’s world: A guide to the next 150 years. (2013, January 2). BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130102-tomorrows-world 

Documents That Changed the World

Terrific Series by my good friend and colleague at the University of Washington iSchool, Joe Janes -http://www.washington.edu/news/2012/12/11/documents-that-changed-the-world-roberts-rules-of-order/

Podcasts definitely worth checking out!

Job Skills - Not all Digital! Update from Project Information Literacy

Alison Head, Affiliate Associate Professor at the UW iSchool and PI of Project Information Literacy, wrote an excellent Op-ed in the Seattle Times today - "Old-school job skills you won't find on Google"


Summary: Young graduates might well be digital savvy, but employers are finding they lack the old-school research skills. Guest columnist Alison J. Head proposes some ways to bring them up to speed.

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Mike and Bob Discuss: The Big6 and the Common Core

Bob and I have been talking offline about the Common Core, the information literacy/Big6 connections, and the impact on education K-12.  We thought we'd share our interactions more broadly by posting here on the Big6 website:    Link to Discussion

For background, here are some other  links:

  Common Core home page - 

  Common Core State Standards - 

Please contribute to the discussion by adding your comments or questions:   Link to Discussion


Using the Big6 - How to Get Started in the Classroom

NOTE: This message was sent to info(at)big6(dot)com. Marie graciously gave permission to share the question and response with everyone.

My name is Marie Willingham and I am currently enrolled at Sam Houston State University in their Library Science Master's program. I am a third grade teacher to 43 amazing creatures of the future. I have simple question for you that might have a more complex answer. From your research with the Information Literacy Project and Big 6, how should a teacher begin teaching information literacy and what are the essentials that a modern day, 21st century student should know?

Thank you for your passion for students and literacy. Thank you for embracing the future. Thank you for giving teachers hope in the "experts" who often seem out of touch with the youth of today.

Marie Willingham

Response from Mike Eisenberg: 

Marie – Thanks so much for emailing and also for giving permission to post your question. First, in terms of how to begin – “just do it.”  That is, starting right away, we recommend using the Big6 (or Super3 for the very young) terminology when you are talking to students, teaching, or mentoring one-on-one.

[Click here for the full response - and an opportunity to post your comments]

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Learning Curve: How College Graduates Solve Information Problems Once They Join the Workplace!


Excellent report from Project Information Literacy - by Alison Head - about the transition from college to work. Based on interviews with 23 employers and 33 recent grads.  Abstract below - key findings here:

Graduates said they found it difficult to solve information problems in the workplace, where unlike college, a sense of urgency pervaded and where personal contacts often reaped more useful results than online searches. 

Graduates said they leveraged essential information competencies from college for extracting content and also developed adaptive information-seeking strategies for reaching out to trusted colleagues in order to compensate for what they lacked.
Employers said they recruited graduates, in part, for their online searching skills but still expected and needed more traditional research competencies, such as thumbing through bound reports, picking up the telephone, and interpreting research results with team members. They found that their college hires rarely demonstrated these competencies.
Findings suggest there is a distinct difference between today’s graduates who demonstrated how quickly they found answers online and seasoned employers who needed college hires to use a combination of online and traditional methods to conduct comprehensive research.
For full study, please see:  
For more on Project Information Literacy see: http://projectinfolit.org
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Kentucky Virtual Library - Big6-based "How To Do Research" game

Check out this excellent (and fun) research game and overview from the Kentucky Virtual Library. It's Big6-based, of course.l


Mosaic of Thought and the Big6

I'm learning about Keene and Zimmerman's "Mosaic of Thought" reading comprehension approach. It looks excellent and very compatible with the Big6.

Has anyone used this with the Super3 or Big6?  (I also posted this on the Big6 Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/big6skills

Mosaic of Thought is clearly compatible to Big6, directly connected to Big6 #4 - Use of Information: 4.1 Engage, 4.2 Extract.  It also links Use of Informaiton to Task Definition.  I think the Big6 can help students to use the Mosaic of Thought comprehension strategies and tactics in a problem-solving context.

Many teachers use Mosaic of Thought in a mini-lessons approach - 

15 min - mini-lesson modeling a strategy

15 min - meet with small groups for extra guidance and practice.

15 min - one-on-one work with students 

15 min - full class summary and discussion.

I think it would be useful to frame the mini-lesson and specific comprehension strategy in a Big6 context. That is, if students learn the Big6 process, they can relate the comprehension strategy to Big6 #4.1 or 4.2 (or even Task Definition 1.1, if relevant).  They can also assess their degree of expertise in comprehension and the specific strategy under Big6 # 6.2 - Evaluation: Judge the Process.

Again - please share your experiences with Mosaic of Thought or other relevant instructional models.




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New lesson posted - How to Get an "A"

Check it Out - new lesson for Big6 #1.1 (and 6.1)


We are pleased to post this valuable lesson for upper elementary as well as middle schools. 

The lessons is from a packet of excellent materials shared with the Big6 team by Melanie Bonanza from the Hyde Park (NY) Schools.

We plan to post additional lessons and content from Melanie and her colleagues in the future.  A Big6 thanks to Melanie for bringing these to our attention and giving permission to share.

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Google Search Education - Lesson Plans

Hi All -

I just posted a similar messge on the Big6 Facebook page - 

I recently came across Google's "search education" materials -
There are lesson plans focused on 2 Big6 stages - #3 - Location & Access and #4 - Use of Information.  They seem impressive, but has anyone used them? How have students reacted?  
Information Alchemy

Information Alchemy: Transforming Data and Information into Knowledge and Wisdom

March 30, 2012

Mike Eisenberg

Dean Emeritus and Professor
The Information School of the University of Washington

One of the key conceptual models of the information field is the "information spectrum," the hierarchy of data - information - knowledge - wisdom.

I first learned this model from Bob Taylor, former dean of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, and it is explained in his book, Value-Added Processes in Information Systems, Ablex, 1986, as the "Value-Added Spectrum," (p. 6). 

I teach this model to almost all of my classes, especially to my undergraduate students as part of developing an "information perspective" -- looking at the world through information-colored glasses. 

This is the way I explain the information spectrum (sometimes referred to as the DIKW hierarchy):

  • Data = characters, symbols, numbers, signs whose meaning may or may not be apparent.
  • Information = data with labels or definition; data that has structure or relationships.
  • Knowledge = collected, combined, organized, processed information for a purpose. 
  • Wisdom = knowledge over time; knowledge without thinking. 
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Blast from the Past - Bob Berkowitz introduces the stages of the Big6 process

We recently uncovered this short, 1 minute video of a "young" Bob Berkowitz explaining the Big6 to Danny Callison from Indiana University. This clip has been used in courses at IU and IUPUI for years!  Still highly relevant!



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Information Abundance

Musings from Mike Eisenberg - 

I'm preparing a number of presentations for different audiences about information and technology literacy and information problem-solving. In order to "set the scene" I like to talk about what it's like to live in our information society - in a world where there is an abundance of information, not scarcity.

This wasn't always the case.  Even 30-40 years ago, it was a challenge to find and gather relevant and credible information. We aren't that far removed from the times when you had to make an appointment with a professional librarian if you wanted to conduct an online search. Access was so limited and costly, that the librarian would conduct a pre-search interview and then do the search for you - sometimes not even with you present! Again, those were the days when the challenge was finding, search, and gathering.

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Citing - for the Very Young (Super3 style)

Crediting and citing - let's make it positive, easy, and fun, not punative, hard and a chore.

I've been thinking a lot about developing citing/creditng skills among elementary students.

This can and should be fun - creating a "culture of crediting" in a school with classroom teachers, teacher-librarians, technology teachers, administrators and even parents modeling for students by continually crediting and citing sources - in coversation, teaching, on paper, and electronically.



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