Library Curriculum: What Would a Wonderful Library Be Like?
Berky Lugo-Salcedo, The Cypress Hills Community School (PS 89), Brooklyn, NY
Content Area: Library
Time Frame of Unit: One month
Language(s) of Lessons: Spanish and English (5-day cycle)
Unit Theme: Libraries as a Resource for Communities
Standards to Be Addressed
New York City Performance Standards for Applied Learning
- A1a: Design a product, service, or system; identify needs that could be met
by new products, services, or systems, and create solutions for meeting them.
- A5a: Work with others to complete a task.
- A5b: Show or explain something clearly enough for someone else to be able to do
- A5c: Respond to a request from a client.
New York City Performance Standards for English Language Arts
- E1b: Read and comprehend at least four books on the same subject, or by the
same author, or in the same genre.
- E3b: Participate in group meetings.
- E4a: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in
written and oral work.
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.
- Standard 4: Students will listen, speak, read, and write in their native
languages for social interactions.
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.
- What are the characteristics of a library?
- What can we discover in a library?
- How do we decide the kinds of book we want to borrow?
- What will we find out when we visit our local library?
- How do we behave in a library?
- What kinds of jobs are necessary to make a library run well?
- How does the lending system work?
- Libraries are important parts of a
- Libraries have many resources (e.g., Internet access, read alouds for children,
and summer reading clubs).
- Libraries have rules for behavior.
- Libraries have systems in place to help us find books.
- Librarians have to be familiar with the books in the library in order to help
others find the books they may need.
- Libraries have categories and subcategories for books (e.g., fiction
subcategories include fairy tales, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and
- Libraries and their resources are shaped by the interest of those in the
- Libraries must have a variety of books in order to address the various needs of
the people in the community.
Background/Prior Knowledge to be Activated in the Unit
- Knowledge of what is a just right
book and how students can select their own just right books
- Knowledge of genres
Content Area Skills and Concepts
- Using the library to discover new information, to find enjoyable books, and
to find out more information about a topic
- Identifying the different parts of a book (the cover, the back cover, the spine,
and the title page)
- Finding similarities and differences in books written by the same author
- Sorting books in their groups and genres, and providing a rationale for this
- Deciding on the criteria for giving the Second Grade Librarian Award to a book
- Providing constructive criticism and comments in group discussions
- Listening respectfully and taking turns speaking.
- Recounting events orally using sequence words
- Formulating interview questions (e.g., Where is…? What is…?)
- Vocabulary: parts of a book, fiction, nonfiction, reference, encyclopedia,
sections, subcategories, subheadings, juvenile, librarian
- Understanding cognates (true and false)
- Using cognates to develop comprehension in English
- Using persuasive language to justify the choice for the Second Grade Librarian
- Using a KWL chart (i.e., what do you
know about this topic; what do you want to know; (later) what did you learn) to
assess students’ prior knowledge about libraries and to find out their reading
- Creating a book using the writing patterns or styles of a particular author
(featured in the classroom library display)
- Designing a diagram showing the different parts of a book
- Designing a poster showing how to take care of books
- Visiting the public library for a tour and interviewing a librarian
- Discussing the names of parts of a book and parts of a library, noting that many
of these terms are English/Spanish cognates
- Reading award-winning books and determining why these books received awards
- Deciding criteria for awarding the Second Grade Librarian Award to books in the
- Using the computer to design a lending library card for the class library
- Organizing the classroom library using a system similar to the Dewey Decimal
- Acting as librarians in the classroom when other students from the school come
to the classroom lending library during library hours (last half hour of lunch)
- Writing about experiences during the library visit and about how students felt
as librarians after the grand opening of their classroom library
- Student-to-student reading interest surveys
- Books from a variety of genres in both languages
- Large labels
- Golden award seals
- Several sets of books by the same author (Anthony Browne and other
- Treasure Hunt worksheet
- Library card (for checking out books)
- Large construction paper
Formal assessment takes place through
grading of the various products that students create during the unit (scavenger
hunt worksheet, design of a book, poster for how to take care of books, and
essay on their experiences in the public library). These products should be
assessed for students’ understanding of the concepts as well as their proper use
of vocabulary and incorporation of other language objectives.
Students are also informally assessed through
teacher evaluation of content and language skills. Questions to be asked:
- How are the children treating library books after this unit?
- What is their attitude towards reading?
- Do children show increasing interest in books? Did the students collaborate in partnerships?
- Are the students using environmental print and words from the text in written work and conversations?
- Are the students using appropriate vocabulary?