Library Curriculum: What Would a Wonderful Library Be Like?

Berky Lugo-Salcedo, The Cypress Hills Community School (PS 89), Brooklyn, NY


Program Background Unit Plan Lesson Plan Teaching the Lesson Sample Student Work

Lesson Topic: Finding books in the library according to genre (English Day)


Standards to Be Addressed

New York State Standards for Native Language Arts

New York State Standards for Foreign Language Learning

New York City Performance Standards for English Language Arts


Guiding Questions



Content Area Skills and Concepts


Language Skills


Thinking/Study Skills




Motivation (5 minutes)

Whole Group Activity

The teacher leads a discussion with the students about their last visit to the library, reviewing the questions the students asked the librarian and what she told them about her job and the different sections of the library. Then the teacher introduces the Treasure Hunt Sheet activity:

“Now that we know the different parts of a library, we will discover the kinds of books that are found in the different parts of the library. We will be library detectives looking for clues, but in our case we are looking for titles of books. Every one of you will have a partner, and together you and your partner will read the instruction on this Treasure Hunt Sheet and go out and LOOK for a title that is found in that section of the library. We will then come back and share what we found out in our investigation. Are we ready? Let’s put on our detective coats and take our notebooks and clip boards.”

Teaching/Learning Activities (60 minutes)

Pair Activity

  1. The teacher and the students walk to the community library.
  2. After greeting the librarian, the students go with her to the Juvenile section.
  3. The librarian discusses with the students appropriate behavior in the library.
  4. The students go off with their partners to find the things listed on the Treasure Hunt Sheet.
  5. After students have had time to complete their Treasure Hunt Sheets, the teacher leads them back to the classroom, modeling low voice and quiet walking while in the library.
  6. Back in the classroom, students work in pairs with their partners, taking turns talking about what they found in the library. The teacher encourages students to use the appropriate vocabulary when referring to the types of books they found (novel, poetry, encyclopedia, etc.).
  7. The teacher calls on a few students to share with the class what they told their partners that they learned at the library.



Formal: The teacher checks the Treasure Hunt Sheet for appropriate responses.

Informal: During the library visit, the teacher listens in on the students’ conversations and watches for interactive skills. Are students taking turns to speak? Are they listening to each other? Are they referring back to their Treasure Hunt Sheet to share what they learned? During the student discussion of the library visit, the teacher notes students’ understanding of how nonfiction and fiction books are classified and their use of the lesson vocabulary.



Students use their knowledge about the community library to design a classroom library, complete with classification and lending systems. Students continue to maintain the classroom library throughout the year.


For upcoming units of study, students will be exploring the solar system and developing questions they want to research. Students are encouraged to bring in books from home or the local library on these topics to help the class find the answers to our inquiry questions.