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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Mathematics (5 - 6)
Title: Dewey Decimal Goes to Math Class
Description: Math students take an onsite field trip to the library (media center) to meet the Dewey decimal system.   An "Essential Question" will be used to a set the purpose for understanding why we use the dewey decimal system. Students will compare and order decimals based on the dewey decimal system.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (7), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Who's who in our Government?
Description: Students will do Internet research to identify key government officials. Each student will create an animated character to introduce a key official to the class.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (5), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Biographical Poetry
Description: Students will work with a partner to write an original poem using information learned about a person involved in the American Revolution. The students will then share the poems by creating a multimedia slide show.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Classify with the Library of Congress
Description: Students will learn about the Library of Congress Classification System by viewing online tutorials.Students will create visual aids to communicate an understanding of the system. Students will use the LCC to locate and organize books.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Comparing Classification Systems
Description: In this lesson, students will be introduced to the Library of Congress Classification System. They will then compare this system to the Dewey Decimal System.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Library of Congress Classification System
Description: In this lesson students will be introduced to the Library of Congress Classification System. They will compare and contrast it to the Dewey Decimal System. Students will determine where information on different topics would be located using each system.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Comparing Dewey and the Library of Congress: In What "Class" Are Your "Classes"?
Description: High school students will learn the distinction between the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). After a PowerPoint presentation of the LCC, the students will compare and contrast the two systems and assign call numbers to various subjects, including their class schedule and a group of books.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 11), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Locating With The LCC
Description: The parts of the LCC call numbers are taught in this lesson using colored index cards to represent the four parts. Students will be able to recognize what each part of the call number stands for.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Library of Congress Solitaire
Description: After viewing a tutorial of the Outline and Call Numbers of the LC Classification system, students will create posters using a picture or graphic to identify the 21 general subject areas. Students then visit a college library online to gather titles of books from their subject area. They will create "playing cards" of their books using index cards. The index cards would include their book title, author, and call number. After each group has completed this task, they will play a game placing the correct "playing card" onto it's corresponding subject area poster--note they would only be allowed to place their card on the poster if thier call number was after the card already on the poster--just like in Solitaire.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Mathematics (7 - 12)
Title: Show Me The Money - Saving and Investing
Description: Students will learn how to analyze several savings products from various financial institutions. They will also demonstrate the ability to discuss the role of saving and investment products. This a Commerce and Information Technology lesson plan.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (4)
Title: Alabama's Five Capitals and First Governors
Description: Students will research the five sites of Alabama's capital and the first governors of the state. They will create a presentation including the physical location of each site and the political and geographic reasons the site was chosen and abandoned, if applicable. The presentation will also include information about the (or a) governor that served while the capital was at the specific location they are researching.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Solving the Puzzle to the Dewey Decimal System
Description: This lesson is a hands-on approach to learning the ten main categories of the Dewey Decimal System in the school’s media center. The lesson is appropriate for fourth and fifth grade students. Students will work in pairs to find missing puzzle pieces already strategically place in books listed under the ten main categories.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (3), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Baseball Rocks!
Description: Through videoconferencing, two classes battle out their knowledge of rocks and minerals and the rock cycle by playing baseball. Each class completes a unit on rocks, minerals, and the rock cycle which includes gathering facts from print and non-print resources, classroom activities, and experiments. Each class then creates PowerPoint slides with questions (and answers) to pitch to the opposing team. The teams meet on the videoconference playing field to determine which class is the champion of rocks! The virtual baseball game serves as the culminating activity of a unit on rocks.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Famous Alabamians
Description: In this lesson, students will use print and non-print reference sources to examine the lives of famous Alabamians and their contributions to our society.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (10), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: The Louisiana Purchase: An Offer We Couldn't Refuse
Description: This lesson explores the circumstances surrounding the United States' acquisition of the Louisiana Territory. To research these topics students will integrate a variety of print and technology resources. Students will apply the results of the research to produce a multimedia presentation supplemented by a brochure created through the application of desktop publishing software.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: You, Too, Can Be an Inventor!
Description: How have inventions changed the world? This unit focuses on the importance, the process and the creativity involved in inventing. Through the study of inventions and inventors, students learn how inventions are created and the characteristics that inventors share. They will create a slideshow presentation on an invention/inventor of their choice. Students will work through steps to come up with their own unique inventions. Finally, they will develop brochures to promote their inventions.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (10)
Title: Where Can I Find That Book?
Description: This lesson allows students to use current topics of study (e.g. the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, the Intolerable Acts) to learn about the Library of Congress Classification System (LCC).


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 8)
Title: Skillful Slideshows
Description: During this technology-based lesson, students learn how to create slideshow presentations that are creative and inviting to the audience. They use fonts, graphics, effects, etc, to capture audience attention.


Subject: English Language Arts (2 - 3), or English Language Arts (2 - 3), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Play the Dewey Decimal System Game
Description: This lesson introduces the 10 main categories used in the Dewey Decimal Classification System for non-fiction bookshelf arrangement. A slideshow will be presented to students to help them learn details about the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Students will be able to demonstrate what they learn through participating in an interactive game.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Dewey and the Library of Congress: Map and Matching
Description: After reviewing the Dewey Decimal Classification System, students are introduced to the Library of Congress Classification System. Students create a map of a university library that uses the LCCS and demonstrate their understanding of the placement of books in each system by playing a game with the maps they create.


Subject: English Language Arts (12), or English Language Arts (12), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Exploring the Alabama Virtual Library
Description: In preparation for independent research projects, students in small groups practice proper citation and familiarize themselves with Alabama Virtual Library databases using a graphic organizer.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: How to Cite Online Resources and Complete Bibliographic Citations
Description: After research in the Alabama Virtual Library, students will write a paragraph essay and use an online citation utility to create bibliographic citations for an online encyclopedia, an online magazine, and a print resource. Copying and pasting the URL address, students will use word processing to create a bibliography.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Website Evaluation
Description: Utilizing a graphic organizer, students work individually and in groups to rank websites according to specific criteria.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: African-American Scientists and Inventors
Description: Besides George Washington Carver, what other African-Americans made contributions to American life? The class will explore the careers of famous and not-so-famous African-American scientists and inventors. Also, they will plan and present a slideshow on five of these individuals and explain why each is significant.


Subject: English Language Arts (3), or English Language Arts (3), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Dewey Decimal Classification System Mural
Description: Students will select a book from an assigned section in the non-fiction area of the library. After reading the books, students will write a paragraph that summarizes the content area of the book. Students will illustrate the book that they read. Students will construct a mural by gluing their illustrations under the corresponding Dewey Decimal Classification. Students will make an oral presentation to the class in which they talk about the book they read.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Animals: Unique Creatures With Great Features
Description: During this unit of study, students will become knowledgeable of animals' characteristics, basic needs and habitats. The purpose of this unit is to educate students through investigation and research about various animals and the characteristics which link them to specific animal groups. Students will present information through models, oral reports and presentations.


Subject: English Language Arts (1), or English Language Arts (1), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (1), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Fishing for Facts!
Description: This lesson will involve a visit to the Library Media Center to research different sea creatures. Using an encyclopedia, students will find two facts about their sea creature. Using the Internet, students will work in small groups to find a picture of their sea creature. All work will be combined into a sea creature booklet.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Shopping with the Dewey Decimal System
Description: This lesson is an introduction to the ten main categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification System. The Dewey Decimal Classification System will be compared with the familiar layout of a grocery store. Students will organize grocery store items into related groups. This process will then be compared to the organization of books using the Dewey Decimal System.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Researching with the Alabama Virtual Library
Description: After an introduction to the Alabama Virtual Library, students use the available resources to research and present information about a United States president.


Subject: English Language Arts (2 - 3), or English Language Arts (2 - 3), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (K - 2)
Title: Do We Have It and Where Can I Find It?
Description: Students will use the electronic card catalog to locate books in the Media Center. Students will determine if the Media Center has a particular item, if it is currently available, and where the item is located in the Media Center.


Subject: English Language Arts (5), or English Language Arts (5), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Looking at Conestoga Wagons
Description: This lesson combines information literacy and technology skills with subject area skills. It is designed to be a collaborative effort between the classroom teacher and the school librarian. The topic of conestoga wagons is reseached from the perspective of a scientist, mathematician, English teacher, artist, geographer, engineer, or historian.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 12)
Title: Understanding and Using Boolean Operators
Description: After an introduction to the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, parenthesis and NEAR, students practice searches using a worksheet.


Subject: English Language Arts (8), or English Language Arts (8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Introduction to African American Poets
Description: In this lesson student groups will research selected African American poets using the Alabama Virtual Library. Each group will present its findings according to a chosen format.


Subject: English Language Arts (10), or English Language Arts (10 - 11), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Learn the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) System: Research Depends on It!
Description: The students will develop an understanding of the organization of main and primary subclasses of the Library of Congress Classification System. The students will demonstrate knowledge and independence in using the LCC through online tutorials and by visiting a college library (optional).


Subject: English Language Arts (9), or English Language Arts (9), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Twentieth Century Resumes
Description: Students will use the Alabama Virtual Library and other reference materials available in the library to create a resume for a twentieth century historical figure from United States history, science, or literature. The lesson is designed as a cooperative project between the classroom teacher and the library media specialist.


Subject: English Language Arts (7 - 8), or English Language Arts (6 - 8), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Newspapers: Facts and Opinions
Description: In order to sharpen a student's understanding of the differences between facts and opinions, this lesson incorporates both the close reading of a newspaper and the writing of a factual article and a letter to the editor.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Know the Dewey: That's a Rap
Description: Middle school students develop an understanding of the organization of the library through demonstration, creative writing, book searches, and Internet use.


Subject: English Language Arts (2 - 4), or English Language Arts (2 - 4), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Introduction to the Dewey Decimal System
Description: This lesson introduces the Dewey Decimal System of numbering used for arranging nonfiction books on the shelves of an elementary school library.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Where Am I in Cyberspace?
Description: This activity allows students to utilize critical thinking skills and Internet research to develop a technology timeline. The timeline will assist students in developing a word processed sample list of items for a time capsule, which can be presented in a class slideshow.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Diving Into the Dewey Decimal System
Description: This lesson reinforces an introduction to the Dewey Decimal System to grades 3-5 with a game. Small competing groups locate books on the shelves. Groups are given a time limit to locate as many books from a numbered card stack as possible by "diving into the bookshelves."


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Calling All Books!
Description: High school students learn the basic outline of the Library of Congress Classification system that is used in larger college and public libraries. The class will place a collection of books into the correct classifications. An introductory lesson on the 21 main classifications and sub-categories and an online tutorial will prepare the students to catalog and shelve the books.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Science (4), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Creature Comforts
Description: What do living things need to survive? In this unit, students explore different habitats and the adaptations made by living things to survive. Students will create a website matching an animal’s adaptations to its environment. Then, they will contribute a slide to a multimedia presentation of imaginary creatures and their adaptations to a habitat.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Social Studies (6), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Weapons of World War I
Description: The students will use the Internet and the school's media center to discover the weapons of World War I. They will compare and contrast the weapons used during that time period with the weapons that are used in warfare today. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students will create a digital slideshow with the history, uses, and changes in old and new military technology.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Library of Congress Classification System
Description: Students will be introduced to the Library of Congress Classification System by viewing two online tutorials. The students will make flash cards in order to study the main classes of the Library of Congress Classification System. The students will practice sequencing call numbers in the order in which they are arranged on the shelf. Students will refer to the call number to locate a specific book in a university library.


Subject: English Language Arts (10 - 12), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: Preparing to Write the Research Paper: An Information Location Mini-lesson
Description: This lesson introduces students to research materials in the library and electronic materials available through the Alabama Virtual Library(AVL). The instruction emphasizes "how-to-use" multi-volume encyclopedias, multi-volume reference sets, books, and various electronic databases. Instruction includes where to locate bibliographic information within these various materials for a research paper and how to cite bibliographic information.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: United States Virtual Tour Guide
Description: Groups/pairs of students will create a short digital slide presentation and travel brochure on one of the 50 U.S. states. They will do research in encyclopedias/atlases and on the Internet to include information on geography, official state information (state bird, flower, song, etc.), and a travel destination within that state. Presentations can be combined to create one slideshow covering all 50 states.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (3 - 5)
Title: Technology and You
Description: In this lesson students will use the Internet to find examples of how technology has impacted human lives. They will then determine of what value these are to their own lives.


Subject: Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Information Location Mini-lesson: Encyclopedia Practice for Grades 3-5
Description: This lesson introduces using the print encyclopedia for grades 3-5. Students are assigned a topic which is selected from their social studies curriculum. Small groups are sent to the reference shelf to select the correct encyclopedia volume. Students then find specific information on the topic and note bibliographic information on a grade-appropriate worksheet.


Subject: English Language Arts (12), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Your English Mentor: How to Write a Career Research Paper
Description: This structural design will guide students in writing a career research paper from start to finish. They will gather information; cite sources MLA style; develop a thesis statement, outline, and paragraphs; and create a research paper with references.


Subject: English Language Arts (6), or Information Literacy (K - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: From Here to Narnia
Description: This lesson will provide eighth grade Language Arts students with an inquiry-based research project based on C. S. Lewis' classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The student will determine the author's purpose in writing this story. This will be accomplished by researching material using the Alabama Virtual Library and Gale Resources.


Subject: English Language Arts (12), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Introduction to Ayn Rand Using Online Resources
Description: Students will research Ayn Rand, a contemporary novelist, for biographical information and for her personal philosophy as a prelude to reading her novel, Anthem. Students will partner to gather information via online databases and will discuss findings in a group setting.


Subject: English Language Arts (4), or English Language Arts (4), or Information Literacy (K - 12)
Title: Using an Almanac
Description: Students will work in groups to learn appropriate uses of an almanac and how to find information in it efficiently and effectively. Each group will be responsible for explaining the steps taken to complete the task. This lesson is best used with fourth and fifth grades.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Language Arts
Title: Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues      Add Bookmark
Description: Students examine propaganda and media bias, research a variety of banned and challenged books, choose a side of the censorship issue, and support their position through an advertising campaign.
Thinkfinity Partner: ReadWriteThink
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Science
Title: Black Holes      Add Bookmark
Description: This Science NetLinks lesson introduces students to the science of black holes. Students examine the anatomy of a black hole using diagrams and also explore myths, the history related to the discovery of black holes, and an animated trip to the center of a black hole. Students also read about different types of black holes and view actual Hubble images that support the hypothesis of black holes.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



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