ALEX Lesson Plan


Comparing Classification Systems

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Tiffany Wells
System: Morgan County
School: Cotaco School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 22938


Comparing Classification Systems


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.
 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: 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.
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: K-12
2 ) The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.

•  Determines accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness.
•  Distinguishes among fact, point of view, and opinion.
•  Identifies inaccurate and misleading information.
•  Selects information appropriate to the problems or question at hand.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will gain an understanding of how the Library of Congress Classification system is organized and contrast/compare this system to the Dewey Decimal system.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

access to a Computer with internet for each student, student response sheets

Technology Resources Needed:

Computers with Internet access


The students need to already be familiar with the Dewey Decimal System of Classification, including how call numbers are made and how the topics are organized.
1.)Introduce the students to the Library of Congress Classification system then have them view a tutorial explaining the system.
(Library of Congress Classification System)
This website presented by the library at the College of William and Mary gives students an overview of the Library of Congress Classification System and how the books are arranged in the library.

2.)Have students also view a tutorial that shows how the call numbers are made and how the books are ordered on the shelves.
(Understanding Call Numbers)
This site from Honolulu Community College provides a simple explanation for how to read call numbers using the Library of Congress Classification System.

3.)After students have had a chance to view these tutorials and any others, conduct a classroom discussion comparing and contrasting the two classification systems. Ask students what they notice that is similiar about the two and what is different.

4.)The students will then access the website that breaks down the classification into its subtopics and sub/sub-topics. Using this site, they will complete a graphic organizer that maps out a broad class and then breaks it down into is subclasses then sub/subclasses.
(Library of Congress Classification Outline)
This site provides a list of the 21 main classes of the Library of Congress Classification System. From this list, you can then access the subclasses and sub/subclasses for each class.

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Assessment Strategies

Students may be assessed by informal assessment as in class participation and teacher observation, or by a written assessment such as the comparison worksheet provided for the lesson.


As an extension, students could create a brochure explaining to others how the Library of Congress system works, how to read the call numbers, and how to locate the books on the shelf. This could also be done in an electronic format.


Students who need additional support may need to view several tutorials before they understand the classification system. It may also be helpful to have some actual books that they can look at and order to help them understand the arrangement.

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.