Library Curriculum: What Would a Wonderful Library Be Like?
Berky Lugo-Salcedo, The Cypress Hills Community School (PS 89), Brooklyn, NY
in the library according to genre (English Day)
Standards to Be Addressed
New York State Standards for Native Language Arts
- Standard 1: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in their native
languages for information and understanding.
New York State Standards for Foreign Language Learning
- Standard 4.1: Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language
through comparisons of the language studied and their own.
New York City Performance Standards for English Language Arts
- E3b: Participate in group meetings.
- How do we use Spanish cognates to
help develop English vocabulary specific to literary genres?
- How can we locate various types of resources in a library?
- What are the characteristics of a library?
- What can we discover in the library?
- How do we behave in a library?
Content Area Skills and Concepts
- Understanding that systems are used in libraries to help us find books
- Understanding the different ways a library is organized (e.g., Juvenile, Adult,
and Reference sections)
- Understanding that nonfiction books are classified by numbers printed on their
spine while fiction books are classified by letters
- Asking WH-questions about the library (e.g., Where is…? What is …? What
- Using content vocabulary: reference, encyclopedia, sections, subcategories,
subheadings, juvenile, librarian.
- Using cognates as a tool for understanding English terms: reference/referencia,
encyclopedia/enciclopedia, sections/secciones, subcategories/subcategoría,
fiction/ficción, juvenile/juvenil, author/autor, illustration/ilustración.
- Understanding headings and
- Understanding principles of sorting and classifying
- Understanding how to collect and record data
- Understanding how cognates can build a bridge to the English language
- Student-generated list of books read
in this and other classes (includes fiction and nonfiction books)
- Library Treasure Hunt Sheet
- Clip boards
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)
teacher and the students walk to the community library.
- After greeting the librarian, the students go with her to the Juvenile
- The librarian discusses with the students appropriate behavior in the
- The students go off with their partners to find the things listed on the
Treasure Hunt Sheet.
- 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.
- 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.).
- 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.
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.