Avoiding the Librarian Stare Down (Expectations for Visiting the Library)

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SWBAT: locate and use library resources in order to read and comprehend 6th grade appropriate texts.

Big Idea

For our first library visit in Middle School, students get a mini-lesson in how to utilize resources, locate genres, and behave like scholars.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

For this Guiding Question, I had my kids draw what they might look like when they visit the library that way they could visualize their behavior before they even got there.

Once we were there, and they were getting excited, it was a simple question like, "Did the picture of yourself visiting the library look like this?" That got them back on track.


10 minutes

Before we went to the library, while we were still in the classroom, we talked about some of the behavior expectations: stay quiet, stay on task, don't run... But we also talked about WHY these rules are in place. For example, the library might be a place where an 8th grader is studying for a major test and talking with a friend about the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and we might distract him, and cause his grade to be lowered.

When we got to the library, I really put on a show! I get super-excited (while maintaining my quiet voice), and show the kids around. I pull books off the shelf, "Oh, look! This graphic novel looks soooo cool," I might say. The next thing you know, kids are fighting over it.

Last year I was noticing that my kids were never visiting the nonfiction end of the library, and these are where all the cool books are: The Ripley's Believe It-or-Not's, The Guiness Book of World Records, books on CSI murder mysteries, alien encounter books, books about sports cars, and on and on. This year, I was very intentional about parading my kids over there and pulling books off the shelves and making it more accessible. After all, Common Core asks that students are reading about 50% informational texts, and using the nonfiction end of the library is one way to do that!

Work Time

25 minutes

For the work time, I gave my students a large chunk of time to meet and greet the librarians and to check out books. I conferred with kids who were stuck finding a book and gave them recommendations. Some of us reviewed the "5 Finger Rule" for finding a "Just-Right" book, and I showed students who were new to the district how to use our library database, Destiny Quest: