The Big6 Resources
People go through the Big6 stages—consciously or not—when they seek or apply information to solve a problem or make a decision. It’s not necessary to complete these stages in a linear order, and a given stage doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We have found that in almost all successful problem-solving situations, all stages are addressed.
In addition to considering the Big6 as a process, another useful way to view the Big6 is as a set of basic, essential life skills. These skills can be applied across situations—to school, personal, and work settings. The Big6 Skills are applicable to all subject areas across the full range of grade levels. Students use the Big6 Skills whenever they need information to solve a problem, make a decision, or complete a task.
The Big6 Skills are best learned when integrated with classroom curriculum and activities. Teachers and school librarians can begin to use the Big6 immediately by:
Using the Big6 terminology when giving various tasks and assignments
Talking students through the process for a particular assignment
Asking key questions and focusing attention on specific Big6 actions to accomplish
Use the free resources on the following pages to support learning about the Big6 and with the Big6!
Getting Started with the Big6
We believe kids are great thinkers. They ask questions and answer questions every day. We believe kids who know how to handle information well can successfully solve problems and make informed decisions. We believe that with a basic framework to sort and organize important thoughts and actions, kids can become systematic problem solvers. We believe in kids — successful, thinking, information-literate kids.
To support our belief in kids’ thinking skills, we developed a model with six stages called the Big6. The Big6 is a model to guide thinkers of all ages from the beginning — to middle — to the end of a project or problem. School students use the Big6 model to handle assignments and organize research projects. Adults use the Big6 model to navigate through a problem-solving or decision-making process. Know where you are in the thinking process and know what needs to come next to complete your work. We teach success.