Several Ideas to Help 4th Grade Students Learn About the Library
Several Ideas to Help 4th Grade Students Learn About the Library. Ideas from a 4th Grade teacher. Includes several assignments she gives her students.
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When my 4th grade students go to their weekly library class, I have a set topic for them to investigate. In September, with the Rocks & Minerals unit, they each pulled out two pieces of paper at random and looked up a rock and a mineral or gem in the encyclopedias. Another lesson had them look up Pilgrims and Native Americans to read about the first Thanksgiving for a play they were to write themselves. (We put it on the day before Thanksgiving in four acts!) Another great search was for famous composers. Once again, I had them pick two composers from a basket of names. They had to take notes on the composers, making sure they had a famous work (or works,) the birth & death dates, the country of origin, and what kind of instruments they played, if possible. After they had gathered the info from Encyclopedias and non-fiction books, they wrote reports of two paragraphs each on each composer. One paragraph about the composer's life, the other about their music. Then they created posters about them and presented them to the class. Next, we'll be researching Thailand for our upcoming International Day. Our school library is limited, so I encourage the students to visit the public library and get library cards. I give 5 bonus points to students who show me their library cards. The month of Jan. will also be their month for reading a biography for a book report. The book can be found at school or in the public library. This is a good time to introduce the Dewey Decimal System, showing them the categories and locating which category would include a biography about a famous person. The internet research sites such as Yahooligans, etc. can provide additional places for research and opportunities to print out pictures, maps, etc. for reports. The ed. sites show them how to locate appropriate categories and how to narrow down the search. The Encyclopedia Index book is invaluable for this search also. And they also have an incentive for exploring the card catalog to find their assigned topics I give them from each unit. The whole concept of a search mission or a mystery location adventure all add to the excitement of discovering the information they need to add to the class' understanding. We're all in the hunt together.