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As a librarian, I love teaching informational literacy to students of all ages. This is such an important skill for our students to learn and practice. And. . . there’s so much more than just the final project. In fact, most of the learning happens before the final project as students learn to find, analyze, and organize information. Keep reading to find out how I facilitate the completion of a research project during library time. We are going to dive right into completing a research project in this post. If you don’t feel you are there yet, check out my post on teaching the research process. That blog post details the skills I teach leading up to the project and how we prepare to dive into a research project. Planning the Research Project Before you begin the research project there are some things you will want to have already
An age-old question students have is, “Why are we doing this?” Students have asked that question for decades before us, and they will continue to ask well into the future. Luckily, there is a simple answer to why citations are important. In the digital age we live in, it’s absolutely critical to understand copyright and plagiarism. Citations are important whether students are writing a paper and need to cite evidence, or when using music for a presentation. Each of these areas comes with its own rules and regulations for copyright.  Why Citations are Important Citations are important because they protect people’s work. When we cite a work correctly, we are giving credit to the owner or creator of that work. Being fair is something students are often naturally passionate about, so help bridge that connection for students. When we cite = we are being fair. In order to appropriately
Students need to read and learn about many different types of informational texts, including biographies. A biography research project can combine many important skills besides just learning about the life of an important person, such as: note-taking summarizing and paraphrasing information evaluating information finding the best sources for information organizing information the importance of citing your sources  practice writing informational text Basics of a Biography Teach students the call number  When I teach about biographies in the library, I start by showing students the biography section and pointing out the call number for biographies. I always give my biographies the call number of 92; however, each library is different.  What’s the difference between a biography and an autobiography? I then like to discuss the difference between a biography and an autobiography. A biography usually provides facts about a person from their childhood through adulthood and is written by someone
Tackling lesson plans for upper elementary students has been an ongoing challenge in my role as a librarian. The task of keeping them engaged has gotten increasingly difficult. The struggle becomes even more real after the holiday break as the 5th graders return feeling more like middle school students than elementary students. So, I’ve put together a list of ideas and activities for engaging upper elementary students to spice things up and keep the excitement alive for learning in the library. Let’s dive into some ideas that can help you transform your upper elementary students from “too cool for school” to “bring on the books!” This post is collaborative in a sense. You see, over in the Staying Cool in the Library private Facebook group were discussing this very topic. If you are not already a member, come join us! Through this discussion, I quickly realized that this issue
We all know how important it is to teach our students information literacy skills: how to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information. There are several different research or information gathering models available for teaching the research process including the Big 6 and the FINDS model from Florida. However, I do not think you need to use a “formal” model as long as your lesson plans cover these important skills. Teaching the Research Process Starts Here Something to keep in mind is that a research project is more about teaching students the process of finding information, not so much the finished product. While language arts teachers might disagree, there are many ways to teach and assess writing skills. But with a research project, our students need to understand how to find relevant and trustworthy sources, read the information, and analyze it for their purpose. If you look at this picture
One of my favorite nonfiction authors is Steve Jenkins. Students love reading his books and learning about all the different animal facts. The two I love best are Actual Size and What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? I have done several different activities after reading these books to my students including matching the animal to the part mentioned in the book to writing and art activities. Since I bought a set of Chromebooks a few years ago (thank you book fair profit), I have been doing an animal research project with my second and third graders. Students will select one of ten animals and use QR codes that I created to look up facts about the animal. They record their notes and create a simple research report. I chose ten different animals from the book What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? Since I