Archive for the ‘SIRS Discoverer Updates’ Category

SIRS Discoverer: Pro/Con Leading Issues

It is important for elementary and middle school students to develop critical thinking and research skills. Often students are tasked with a research project on a controversial or difficult topic. To fulfill this need, SIRS Discoverer offers a Pro/Con Leading Issues feature that will help young researchers navigate through 60 debated social issues. Each topic lists several viewpoint articles where students can click through to full-text content. These articles provide context that help kids understand the viewpoints on these issues. In addition to articles, editorially-selected photos and political cartoons provide a visual perspective. Since editors create and maintain the topics, educators can be confident that the content will be reliable.

SIRS Discoverer Pro/Con Leading Issues

Each issue contains:

Topic Overview
Terms to Know
Essential Question
More Viewpoints
Visual Literacy
Critical Thinking Questions

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, Pro/Con Leading Issues is also one of the most popular features in the SIRS Discoverer product. We have heard from several media specialists and librarians that when a student is undecided on a subject to research, browsing through the topics often sparks an idea.

We realize the value of keeping the topics updated and so we have added 5 new topics to our Pro/Con Leading Issues feature at the start of the new school year:

Electoral College
Gender Identity
Health Care

Educators, do your students use the Pro/Con Leading Issues feature?
Tweet #ProQuest #SIRSDiscoverer

Don’t have SIRS Discoverer? Request a free trial.


10 New Animal Fact Pages in SIRS Discoverer!

Kids of all ages love to learn about animals. SIRS Discoverer’s Animal Facts is a great place to start when your students are doing a research project. There are nearly 300 animals to choose from!

Animal Facts via SIRS Discoverer

Have your students explore these 10 newly created Animal Fact pages in SIRS Discoverer, along with a fun graphic organizer that can be used in the classroom.

Each page contains a full profile and description of the animal and includes interesting, fun facts:

Antelope: There are 90 species of antelopes in the Bovidae family.

Baboon: Baboons are found in large groups called troops.

Badger: Badgers are solitary animals and live alone except during mating season.

Collared Peccary: These animals look a lot like pigs but they are not in the same family as pigs.

Gray Whale: Gray whales live in groups called pods.

Marten: Martens are members of the weasel family.

Mole: Moles spend most of their lives underground in burrows and tunnels that they dig.

Proboscis Monkey: Male proboscis monkeys have very large noses on their faces while females have much smaller noses.

Pronghorn: Pronghorns are the only species in the family Antilocapridae.

Sperm Whale: Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales living in the ocean.

Download this animal research graphic organizer to use in your classroom.

When doing assignments on animals, direct your students to Animal Facts for all the information they need for an elementary-level research project.

Don’t have SIRS Discoverer? Free trials are available.

SIRS Discoverer Spotlight of the Month: National Poverty in America Awareness Month

On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson introduced War on Poverty legislation in his annual State of the Union address. He emphasized improved education as one of the foundations of the program. On August 20, 1964, he signed a $947.5 million antipoverty bill that was intended to help more than 30 million U.S. citizens.

Signing of the EOA

LBJ Signing Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
By US Government (LBJ Library) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

National Poverty in America Awareness Month promotes knowledge and understanding of the realities of poverty in the United States. According to the U. S. Census Bureau in 2015, more than 43 million Americans–13.5 percent of the population–lived in poverty. Reasons are complex and multifaceted and the effects on the nation are immense.

Building in Odessa, Minnesota

Building in Odessa, Minnesota
Photo by Greg Gjerdingen via flickr is licensed under CCA-SA 2.0 Generic

January’s Discoverer Spotlight of the Month explores the issue poverty in the United States. Use this month as an opportunity to examine poverty and perhaps even get involved in local anti-poverty campaigns. Direct your students to featured articles, images and websites to understand the many causes and ramifications of poverty. Dig deeper by researching the devastating Great Depression and the current impact of poverty on youth and families. Explore the Pro/Con Leading Issues: Poverty page as it highlights content for young researchers.

For more in-depth information:
Poverty USA
National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP)
Talk Poverty

Training for Your ProQuest Resources

Libraries see surge in e-book demandDon’t forget that ProQuest provides free training.  Our Training and Consulting Partners team is available at any time to meet with you via a privately scheduled webinar.  Just email us to make an inquiry.  We also provide regularly scheduled public webinars.  You can contact our team to discuss your questions about ProQuest resources, and we are also happy to focus privately scheduled sessions on topic areas of particular interest to you. 

This is just one of the many benefits you derive from licensure to your ProQuest resources!


SIRS Discoverer: 23 New Titles Added to Nonfiction Books!

23 full-text book titles licensed from esteemed K12 publishers such as Rourke Publishing and DK Eyewitness have been added to SIRS Discoverer’s Nonfiction Book collection of 500+ titles:


SIRS Discoverer’s Newest Additions to Nonfiction Books

The benefits of Nonfiction Books are clear:

  • Economical—Adds 500 titles to any book collection at no extra cost
  • Readable—Browse variety of reading levels via grade level browse
  • Discoverable—Books are searchable as reference content in any keyword search
  • Portable–PDFs may be viewed on desktop, on overhead, or downloaded to any mobile device
  • STEM—Science, technology, and math content are abundant. Of the new titles, 18 are related to math
  • Robust–Twelve categories include high-interest topics such as animals, biographies, and history that can be used for a variety of assignments

Learn about Nonfiction books in this quick video tutorial:

SIRS Discoverer: Now with Google Integration!

SIRS Discoverer is excited to announce our newest enhancement: Google Integration!

Now with the click of a button, users can add article text from SIRS Discoverer to Google Drive or to Google Classroom. This allows students and teachers to easily use content for their daily needs in the classroom for research, homework, reading, projects, and more!

Save age-appropriate text selected by our editorial staff from reputable children’s publishers. SIRS Discoverer’s reference content includes current events, top social issues, core curriculum, and everything in between. Enjoy this latest enhancement!

SIRS Discoverer and Google Integration

Zika Virus Resources in ProQuest

Zika virus is an example of a vital current issue that is important for students to understand in our global society. Point your students to reliable, age-appropriate ProQuest resources to help them stay informed and critically think about global issues.

The Zika virus disease, according to the CDC, is caused by a Zika virus that is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika was first discovered in 1947 and named after the Zika forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases were detected and outbreaks occurred in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding a reported case of the Zika virus in Brazil and on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern.

There are 346 cases of Zika in the continental United States in people who had contracted the disease outside of the country. On April 11, 2016, public health officials used strong language to describe the Zika virus. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, “Most of what we’ve learned is not reassuring….Everything we look at with this virus seems to be scarier that we initially thought.” Due to the outbreak threat in the United States, the Obama administration has lobbied Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the virus.

ProQuest offers comprehensive coverage of the Zika virus for students in elementary, middle, high school, and advanced grade levels:


eLibrary‘s editorially-created Research Topic frames the issue and helps students understand the Zika virus from all angles. The results list offers comprehensive coverage from such sources such as Nation’s Health, Life Science Weekly and includes scholarly journals like the American Journal of Public Health.


Zika Virus Research Topic via eLibrary

ProQuest Central

Thousands of results in ProQuest Central provide in-depth coverage including peer-reviewed articles.


Search on ProQuest Central

SIRS Discoverer

Editor-selected articles on issues like the Zika Virus are covered in SIRS Discoverer‘s Current Events feature and appropriate for the elementary to middle school grade levels.


Current Events Feature on SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Issues Researcher

Editors select comprehensive content on the Leading Issues of today in SIRS Issues Researcher that include updated articles, websites, and graphics that frame every issue.


Zika Virus Article on SIRS Issues Researcher

ProQuest editors work daily to curate relevant resources for your students. If you have any feedback or requests, let us know by contacting us or tweeting #ProQuest. If you don’t already have these resources, set up a trial.

Winter Holidays and Celebrations

Today is Christmas Day, a day that many of the world’s Christians traditionally celebrate the birth of Christ.  Wherever you might be today or whatever your religious or holiday traditions and observances may be, we hope you have a wonderful day!

There are many celebrations around the world which take place in the winter months.  Did you know that SIRS Discoverer’s “Spotlight of the Month” provides very interesting information about many of these unique and varied holidays and observances?  The “Winter Holidays Around the World” spotlight offers kids a great opportunity to become familiar with traditions and symbols and celebrations across many cultures.  Plan some time during this winter time of year to expand your knowledge of our world culture!

Winter Spotlight SIRS Discoverer

Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about SIRS Discoverer, its key elements, and how it is all put together. You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get the most you can from this superb resource designed for K-8 level students.

Election Coverage with SIRS Issues Researcher!

We are about a year away from voting in the next our next president. This is a good time to learn all about important campaign issues and the potential presidential candidates. There are many resources available to do this, and ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher is a great place to start. Our Election 2016 Leading Issue can help you navigate the world of politics through editorially-selected articles in a format that offers both content and context. Critical thinking questions prompt students to go beyond the surface to examine issues. Election season is also a perfect time to start planning class debates.

What campaign issues will you focus on in your classroom? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve our coverage? Comment below or Tweet us at #ProQuest!

The New ProQuest SIRS Discoverer Experience Video!

The all-new ProQuest SIRS Discoverer is now live!!

Take a tour of our new interface with the newly updated training video.


ProQuest SIRS Discoverer Training Video

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer has been newly redesigned with a fresh, new interface featuring easy access to most-used content and features, logical subject tree hierarchy, age-appropriate search and filter capabilities, as well as streamlined result and article pages to help young learners connect with and comprehend content. User-friendly Advanced Search features enable young learners to find exactly what they need by limiting search by source type and simple searching by grade level and Lexile Range.

In addition to a powerful and engaging new user-interface, ProQuest SIRS Discoverer has added these new feature functionalities:

  • Easy search and filter by source type and grade level
  • Quick filter by PDF
  • Custom library branding
  • One click to other SIRS & ProQuest products
  • Slick and easy-to-use image preview

All new features are based on customer request, and specially designed to address usage habits of ProQuest’s youngest users!

If you don’t have ProQuest SIRS Discoverer but want to give a try, request a trial on the official product page.

You are currently browsing the archives for the SIRS Discoverer Updates category.