Too often, we as teachers will tell students to "Google" something, without first providing instructions on how to conduct web-based searches. And too often, students type the full question into the search bar.
Based off Google's "A Google A Day" web search puzzle, accessible here: https://www.google.com/intl/en-us/insidesearch/searcheducation/lessons.html#History, I have created a US History-based formative assessment to check students' searching skills. I like to use this as an opening activity to help build students' critical thinking and Internet searching skills as part of an introduction to research. Previously, I have given a few helpful hints for web searches, taught about website reliability, and used a couple of Google's pre-created "A Google A Day" activities. I use this as a short opener, or bell-ringer, to practices these critical thinking and Internet research skills.
This PowerPoint slideshow (originally created as a Google Slide Deck) poses a question in multiple parts. Unlike most "A Google A Day" lessons, which have been frequently used, this original puzzle will not appear in search results as written. Thus, your students will have to break down the puzzle into multiple parts.
I like to pose the question, leaving it up on the board, cycling the room, checking on how students are searching. I tell students that when they think they have the answer to raise their hand, and I will check to see if they are correct.
A slide after the posed question provides helpful hints for students in breaking down the steps in searching for the answer. The final slide displays the correct answer. I recommend debriefing each of the steps to find the answer.