To run a basic search in ERIC, identify the key terms that describe your topic. For example, if you want to find articles about active learning in social studies, you could enter
active learning and social studies
On the list of results, you will find that many of the articles have "Full Text from ERIC" underneath the title and author, meaning you can read the article in its entirety from ERIC. There might even be a link to download the PDF ("PDF Full Text"). Otherwise, you can click on "Check for Full Text" next to an article to see if it is available in another database.
When you click on the article title, you will be forwarded to a page that provides an abstract (brief summary) of the item and options for saving, citing, exporting, and linking to the article.