ALEX Lesson Plan


Play the Dewey Decimal System Game

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Karen Ward
System: Mobile County
School: Mobile County Board Of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 15291


Play the Dewey Decimal System Game


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.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
IL (K-12)
1. The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  • Recognizes the need for information.
  • Recognizes that accurate and comprehensive information is the basis for intelligent decision making.
  • Formulates questions based on information needs.
  • Identifies a variety of potential sources of information.
  • Develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.
  • IL (K-12)
    3. The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
  • Organizes information for practical application.
  • Integrates new information into one's own knowledge.
  • Applies information in critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats.
  • ELA2015 (2)
    1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. [RL.2.1]
    a. Infer the main idea and supporting details in narrative texts. (Alabama)
    ELA2015 (2)
    14. Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently. [RI.2.5]
    ELA2015 (2)
    28. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. [W.2.8]
    ELA2015 (2)
    38. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on Grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies. [L.2.4]
    a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. [L.2.4a]
    b. Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known prefix is added to a known word (e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell). [L.2.4b]
    c. Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., addition, additional). [L.2.4c]
    d. Use knowledge of the meaning of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words (e.g., birdhouse, lighthouse, housefly; bookshelf, notebook, bookmark). [L.2.4d]
    e. Use glossaries and beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases. [L.2.4e]
    ELA2015 (3)
    1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [RL.3.1]
    ELA2015 (3)
    29. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories. [W.3.8]

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will demonstrate knowledge of the Dewey Decimal Classification System by matching the 10 main classifications used with nonfiction books to call numbers (000,100,200,etc.).

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify the location of the call number on nonfiction books for locating and retrieving informational (nonfiction) sources.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    31 to 60 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Project board (see attachment)
    Spinner boards (see attachment)
    Dewey Decimal Game sheets - one per student (see attachment)
    40 nonfiction books in a crate

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with MS PowerPoint software, LCD projector


    The teacher will need to make multiple spinners (one for each group). The spinners should be laminated.

    1.)Select two students to find a specific nonfiction book in the crate of 40 books. (Positioning the specific item at the bottom might increase the time it takes each student to find the book and emphasize the need for an orderly arrangement of a large amount of informational books in the library.)
    Discuss what would happen if the library kept everything in crates.

    2.)In introducing the Dewey Decimal Classification System, take a book from the crate used as a model to direct students to the spine label where the Dewey Decimal call number can be found. Explain that the call number helps people know what classification the book falls under.
    Show students the presentation and as a whole group discuss the questions at end of slide show (see attachments).

    3.)Once students have a general understanding of the system, display the Project Board: Dewey Decimal Classification System (see attached). Tell students they can use this as a guide to help them remember the system.

    4.)Have students play the Dewey Decimal Game to demonstrate their knowledge of the system.
    a) Break the class into groups of four.
    b) Give each group a spinner and four game sheets (see attached).
    c) Have each member of the group take turns spinning.
    d) Students must write down the category they land on in the correct blank. Have students write the call number also.
    e) The student who fills in all the blanks first wins. Check the sheets for accuracy.
    f) Continue playing until everyone fills in the game sheet.
    g) Review games sheets as a group.
    h) Collect sheets to check for understanding.

    5.)Close lesson with pulling one or two books from crate and asking selected students to identify the call number and the main classification.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will check students' game sheets for accuracy.


    The next class visit to the media center could begin with the location of the main classifications within the media center. The individual students could label a simple library map. The small wheel charts could be used again with the students having to locate a book from their spin results.


    During open times, the library media specialist or aide can offer individualized assistance.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.