Library Lessons: Jan. 27-31, 2014

Kindergarten: feature author – Candace Fleming  story – Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!  Goals: introduce feature author, critical thinking questioning, basic TAG strategy, spine label review

Fact: I love – LOVE – Candace Fleming’s picture books.  LOVE THEM.  I’ve highlighted her – and her books – every year for the K’s since becoming a school librarian.  The titles never disappoint, either.  With great storylines, memorable characters, and opportunities to engage in thoughtful discussion, her books are always in demand.

Critical thinking questions:

  • How could the bunnies get past Mr. McGreely’s garden gate?  The wooden fence?  The wet trench?  The huge concrete wall? (any ideas are allowed!)
  • Imagine you are Mr. McGreely.  What would you do to keep the bunnies out of your garden?

Tricky vocab for K’s: trench, furious

Listening to students’ share what part of the book is their favorite (using clear guidelines adapted from TAG) is always a highlight.  So many great ideas anchored to the story!

2nd grade: Only 1 of 3 classes had library class this week due to a whole-school performance, so I adapted the 3rd grade lesson below.  (note to self: don’t forget to research bridges next year as part of the STEM science unit!)

WCCPBA Story: Pluto Visits Earth! by Steve Metzger.  Goals: read a WCCPBA nominee, fact vs. fiction, finding facts in fictional writing, group letter-writing

Fictional books aren’t usually considered to have factual information, yet they often do (see: historical fiction).  Today’s title helped us gain scientific information in a low-key setting.  Rather than doing independent / group work, I modeled letter-writing as a way to share our learning.   The students dictated the letter (with guidance when needed), sharing what they learned using a fictional title.  By typing it as they spoke (via SmartBoard) and sending it immediately (via email to the teacher and principal), I modeled how important their learning was outside of the library setting.

3rd grade: With too many long-term subs in this grade, I’ve been slack in keeping the communication lines open.  In short, I found out about a project too late and needed to give students information about citing sources – the why’s and how’s – ASAP.  Specifically, that citing a source as “google” or “the internet” isn’t acceptable. (I’ll soapbox on this topic another day.)   Rather than a lecture-based lesson, I tied it in to a WCCPBA title that had to do with outer space (the topic of the class projects) to keep the tone of the lesson open and meaningful.

WCCPBA Story: Pluto Visits Earth! by Steve Metzger.  Goals: citing sources – why it’s important and how to do it, accessing and using PebbleGo for additional space research (in-class project)

At the end of the lesson, I modeled accessing and using PebbleGo to gain information about topics related to outer space.  Rather than an in-class assignment, I used an at home learning opportunity featuring PebbleGo (read: not homework) for three main reasons.  Students need to understand that citing sources is something that happens whenever they research, not just in the library.  I know all my students have access to computers at home, so this would be doable.  And parents should know that this is a skill / concept being taught during library.  As it was an “opportunity”, I’ll be curious to see how many I receive back this week with no prize/reward offered.  Learning for the sake of learning is what I was after.

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