Category Archives: Information Literacy Instruction

“Never” Poems, Second Grade and National Poetry Month

We celebrated National Poetry Month with all grade levels. Second grade students wrote a “Never” poem which features repetition and alliteration.   We used a template I found on WriteShop.com (https://writeshop.com/writing-a-never-poem).  The students used dictionaries & thesauri to find words if they got stuck for ideas.

 

Recorded Poems on Flipgrid

I used Flipgrid so the students could record themselves reading their poem. This gives them an authentic audience and practice reading aloud.  I also shared this on the school’s Facebook page to further widen the audience and let parents see what their children are doing.

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Check us out!  https://flipgrid.com/876d05

Flipgrd

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Kindergarten Poem in My Pocket

I have been celebrating National Poetry Month for several years with our students with most grade levels writing different types of poems.  I wanted to do something with the kindergarten students this year, but couldn’t figure out how to have them write poetry.  I came across the idea of Poem in Your Pocket Day.  That was it!!!

First I read several poems to the students and we talked about poetry (what it was, etc.) . I created a template for a pocket, labeled “Poem in My Pocket” and had the students decorate it. There was a place for them to write their name.

Choosing Poems for Their Pockets

Before their next library visit I glued a back onto their pocket front and punched holes into the top.  I tied yarn onto it forming a loop.  I copied a variety of poems for them to choose from.  They got to choose four different poems and fit them into their pockets.pockets

 

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Choosing her 4 poems.

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Fitting their poems into their pockets.

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Modelling the Give!

When I first told the students they would be giving away their poems, several of them said, “No, we want to keep them!”  We decided they could keep one or two but should share the rest.  I took a couple of students from each class and we went in search of someone to share our poems with.  Success!

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Giving a poem (and reading it) to one of our custodians.

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The art teacher receiving a poem.

 

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Our Assistant Head of School, who then read her poem aloud with lots of expression and enthusiasm.

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Our Head of School who after reading the poem, dated it and added the names of the students as she put it on her bulletin board.

The first day I did this last week, one of the students asked to give our Head of School a poem, but she was in a meeting.  After dismissal duty while chatting on the sidewalk, she said a “little fellow” gave her a poem as he got on the bus and I explained about Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Yessssss, success!  I love when a plan comes together!

I will definitely do this again next year.

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5th Grade Learns to Evaluate Websites

I did two sessions for fifth grade students covering the 5 W’s of Website Evaluation: Who, What, When, Where and Why (Kathy Schrock’s outline) in order to be sure they are getting good information in their internet searches. I wanted them create a PowerPoint (some had never done one and others had rudimentary skills), but I didn’t want them to have to do research in order to have content.  So I combined the website evaluation lesson and PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Creation

After taking notes about these strategies, they created a PowerPoint presentation to let others know how to find credible, useful websites for their information needs.  As I stated, most of the students had created one, maybe two PowerPoints, so there was plenty of room for additional skill acquisition.

1:1 School

After an initial basic overview of creating slides, inserting images (and resizing them) and transitions, I turned them loose while circulating among the students.  Students each have a Dell tablet and I requested that they bring their keyboards and mouses to make the process run more smoothly.  Students with more skills helped out their classmates.

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Rubric

I created a rubric with the requirements which were very basic.  Besides a minimum number of slides, they were to add 2 images and give credit to the owners of the images.  I was more interested in them learning new skills than having a polished project.

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3rd Grade and My Maps

Third grade students study Native American tribes, their locations and the natural resources they used.  I thought a good way for them to get a visual of all of the locations would be to for them to each create a My Maps in Google.  I checked with the 3rd grade chair and asked which tribes they were working on to represent the different geographic areas of the U.S.  She gave me a list and from there I created a graphic organizer to aid the students as they searched locations.IMG_2293

I originally had the directions at the top of the sheet, but after one class realized that the students needed the directions to be in a list with bullet points.  So I retyped the directions in that format and they were better able to follow them .IMG_2246

After modelling the process and showing it on a large screen we then had to have them use their tablets to log into their Google account (via their school provided email address).  This took the entirety of the time in the library for many students.  It only has to be done once, but some struggled to type in everything correctly. Several students in each class whizzed along and had several locations marked before others successfully logged in!  They were then the experts.

At the second session I demonstrated how to search and add an image for each tribe.  Those who had marked all of the tribes proceeded to this step.  We worked at this for a 3rd session and about 95% of the students had all locations marked.  Some (maybe about 30%) had images for some or all tribes.  I asked the teachers to let the rest work on it in class as time permits.

I really wanted them to type in a fact or two about each tribe, but not sure if the teachers will follow through.  Several of the students were so excited to work on this project, so that made the sometimes hectic sessions all worthwhile.

This grade level also has to teach about explorers this year, so I saw where you could draw paths between locations.  I experimented with it and created a sample and shared the link to the teachers.  Hopefully they will use these trained-up students to create maps tracing the voyages of the explorers.  I will get back with them and offer my support if they choose to use My Maps-Google again.

My sample for the explorer map:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yiI0n5it5DdfEk42iaJIUry5gRw&usp=sharing

Capture

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Second Grade-People Who Change Their Community

After looking at the 2nd grade’s current IB/PYP Unit of Inquiry, I asked our second grade chair about what we should be working on in the library.  I suggested that I could read some picture book biographies about people who have made an impact on their community and she liked that idea.  The students were learning about people who make a difference in their communities, such as Jimmy Carter, MLK Jr. and Jackie Robinson.   I read Jeanette Winter’s book, Wangari’s Trees of Peace, which is an excellent biography about Wangari Maathai for this age group.

Cover of Jeanette Winter's book, Wangari's Trees of Peace

Credit: Amazon

As I was reading the author’s notes in the back of the book, the students all perked up when I read that Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  They would  say, “Just like Jimmy Carter” or “Just like Martin Luther King, Jr.!”

Writing Practice

After reading the book we discussed how Maathai changed her community.  I asked the students for words from the book that were important or key and we created a word wall on a white board.  Note: I had to write “woman” and “women” because many of our students used the singular form of the noun when referring to the plural or they use “womans”.  IMG_2213

Then I asked the students to respond to one of  two questions: How did she change her community? or Whose lives did she impact and how?  I asked the students to provide text evidence (one of their ELA standards).  IMG_2212

Video Recording via Flipgrid

Some students wrote a sentence of two and were immediately ready to video tape their response on Flipgrid.  Others needed some help with editing, which the teacher and I provided them with.  Since classes are scheduled for about 30 minutes we did the actual recording at their next library visit.  They love to see and hear themselves.  I email the link to the teacher after all students have recorded their reflections.

Check them out!  https://flipgrid.com/f4e331

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2nd Grade and Reference Tools

Hands on: Dictionary 

Near the beginning of each school year, I introduce second grade students to two reference tools, dictionaries and encyclopedias. I plan the topics they look up around something they are already covering in the classroom (if possible).

First, they used a dictionary to look up words about Jimmy Carter, such as submarine, peanut, and governor (they are currently studying Carter). They were instructed to copy down one definition for their word.  They had practiced alphabetical order and guide words the week before but it was a bit of struggle for most to actually find their word.  Their teacher and I provided lots of support in this part of the activity.

I saw a couple of students all excited after the structured activity was over. It is so heartening see students get enthused over library skill lessons, however, my heart was destined to be dashed just a bit.  These students had continued to browse the dictionary and were gleefully pointing out that the word “zombie” was in the dictionary! But hey, they found out there are interesting things to be found in dictionaries!

World Book Online Encyclopedia

The next week I showed these second grade students a print version of an encyclopedia and we compare the amount of information found in a dictionary with that found in an encyclopedia article.  Then I have them use an online encyclopedia, World Book (the Kids section), to look up facts about one of three historical figures: Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson.  These three individuals are part of the Georgia Standards of Excellence: Social Studies. Some of the children were so into this activity that they didn’t want to stop with just one fact.  The students really liked the very large photograph at the top of the World Book Kids entry for each historical figure. They were also making connections with what they were reading in the encyclopedia to what they had learned in the classroom.

 

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3rd Grade & Altases

Third grade students used atlases to find places located on the prime meridian and the equator.  After locating London, England and Nanyuki, Kenya, they took photos of those places with their tablets in order to document their finds.  I showed them a photograph of me and my husband standing on the equator in Nanyuki, many years ago so that they could see what it looks like at the equator.   I also told them about the water draining demonstration the guides did while we were there.

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It was good practice in taking photographs using the tablets (which I don’t think they get the opportunity to do very much) as well as figuring out where the photos are stored.

We went on to see how Google Maps works and looked at satellite maps.  I looked up the two locations again on Google Maps and projected onto the big screen and we discussed the differences between the maps in the atlas and Google Maps.IMG_2067

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