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The Tank Man

Student Worksheet

Searching the Internet for the Truth: June 4, 1989

Note to Students:
Imagine that two high school students are conducting research on the same event in history: the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. One student is researching the subject from her school in the United States, while the other is researching the same event from his school in the People's Republic of China. You will simulate both students' initial research by using two different search engines operated by the same company.

Option: Take a tour of historic Tiananmen Square at http://www.tsquare.tv/tour to learn about its long presence in Chinese history.

  1. American student's search: Go to the search engine Google's Web site www.google.com and type in "Tiananmen Square."

    1. How many links can be accessed by this one search?
    2. Scan through the first five sites. What seems to be the content of these links?
    3. What words are repeated?
  2. Chinese student's research: Go to Google-China's Web site www.google.cn. (Don't worry if the Chinese characters are replaced by squares.) In the search box, type "Tiananmen Square."

    1. How many links can be accessed by this one search?
    2. Again, scan through the first five sites. What seems to be the content of these sites?
    3. What sites are linked to this Google-China search term?
  3. With your group, discuss the following questions and write down your ideas.

    • How does the content of these search pages differ from each other?
    • Why do you think the content of Google.com's search page differs from Google.cn's search page?