Search Engines: AND the way engines LINK TO work

Goal: Web search is critically important. How many of us search the web every day? But how does it work, and how do we know what results we’re going to get? This lesson helps teach about how web engines finds content, and teaches about how some content must be treated as suspect.

This lesson teachers students about how search engines work. This lesson extends students’ background knowledge to help them distinguish different kinds of engines, think about how results are identified and generated, and finally, how results are ranked.

Time: Approximately 60 Minutes

Driving Questions and Goals:

  • What is a search engine?
  • How does a search engine find and index information?
  • How does a search engine try to rank information it has found?

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will form a definition for a search engine
  • Students will learn a foundation for how an engine creates a content index
  • Students will consider how engines rank and relate the information they have indexed


  1. Teaching Search Engines – Lesson plan and handouts
  2. Chalkboard (or Whiteboard)
  3. Pens or pencils

Planning Ahead:

  1. Read & print out the lesson plan.
  2. Print out the handout (1 per student)


What'cha thinking?