In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about borrowing books, research, libraries and librarians. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Library topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About the Library
Trip to the Library
If possible, take a trip to a university or local library with your class. Remember to review appropriate library behavior. Have a librarian give a quick tour of the library. Some university libraries may have art and historical documents, microfiche, and other materials your school library may not have. Have a librarian talk with your students about how to look up different materials and describe their collection.
Remind your students that call numbers are organized sequentially in the library. Write numbers on index cards and have your students organize them sequentially. You may want to them to use number lines or create number lines for a number card showing three numbers before and after their number. If your students are familiar with decimal places, review how to order decimals.
Challenge your students to find as many different materials as they can about a topic. You may want to pick a specific topic together, such as a famous historical figure, a specific country, a special event, or an animal. Have your students go to their local and school libraries to collect different types of materials. Encourage them to look beyond books and search for magazines, newspaper articles, and even movies. Have students list the title, author, and call number of their materials.
Spread a collection of several types of books on tables in your classroom (approximately 20-30 per table). Separate children into small groups and challenge them to sort the books into categories. They should separate each category into a pile and then label it with a sticky note. Have students walk around and look at other groups’ organizational systems. As a group, discuss how they made the decision to classify different books, what topics they came up with, and compare them with the classification system of your school’s library.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About the Library
Create a checklist of different types of materials your child can check out in his or her school or local library. For example, your checklist might include a fiction book, a nonfiction picture book, a book of poems, a biography, a book about sports, a movie, a CD, etc. Then challenge your child to check out each item from the library and read, watch, or listen to it. You may want to set a goal for your child, such as a book a week or four books per month. Encourage your child to incorporate reading into his or her daily routine.
Questions and Answers
Children are naturally curious about the world around them and constantly ask questions. The next time your child has a question, have him or her write it down in a notebook. Your child can make predictions about the answer. Then find the answer together by looking up materials in the library. This will not only build solid research skills, but also empower your child to find the answers to his or her own questions.