ALEX Lesson Plan


Information Location Mini-lesson: Encyclopedia Practice for Grades 3-5

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Gayle Robinson
System: Baldwin County
School: Rockwell Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 5779


Information Location Mini-lesson:

Encyclopedia Practice for Grades 3-5


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.
 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
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.
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: K-12
6 ) The student who is an independent learner is information literate and strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation.

•  Assesses the quality of the process and products of personal information seeking
•  Devises strategies for revising, improving and up-dating self-generated knowledge.
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: K-12
8 ) The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.

•  Respects the principles of intellectual freedom.
•  Respects intellectual property rights.
•  Uses information technology responsibly.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will select the correct volume of encyclopedia in which to locate an assigned subject. Students will locate the desired subject in the volume selected. Students will identify bibliographic information for the volume and article selected.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

0 to 30 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Grade-level worksheet (see attachments)and pencil for each student, encyclopedias

Technology Resources Needed:

(Optional) Computers with Internet access, encyclopedia CD-ROMs (There are several encyclopedias included in the Elementary School Resources section of the Alabama Virtual Library.)


This lesson is designed to be accomplished during scheduled library time (30 min.) The encyclopedia activity can be completed in approximately 20 minutes, with the remainder of the library time used to check out library books. It is recommended to precede this lesson (the week before) with an overview and discussion of the reference section of the library emphasizing location and arrangement of the encyclopedias. The media specialist should work with the classroom teacher in advance to determine appropriate topics from the social studies curriculum and have a different topic written on each worksheet prior to giving them to the students. If the number of encyclopedias is limited, it is advisable to try to assign topics that appear in different volumes of the encyclopedia set so the necessity for sharing is eliminated.
1.)The media specialist should have worksheets and pencils at every seat before students arrive.

2.)State the objective and read over the worksheet with the students. Choose a table (4-5 students) at a time to select their encyclopedias.

3.)Students return to their tables and begin looking up their assigned subject and filling in the information they find on their worksheets. They are to raise their hands if help is needed.

4.)Students turn in their papers and check out library books. If time permits, allow several students to report one fact they learned from their research.

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Assessment Strategies

The completed worksheets will be assessed by the teacher or media specialist.


A follow-up lesson may be planned using electronic encyclopedias, either on CD-ROMs or online.


If indicated, remediation for students needing help may occur during the next library visit. Briefly re-state the arrangement of encyclopedias, help students select the correct volume and have them re-do the worksheet with closer supervision.

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.