Lesson Topic: Library Orientation-Early Childhood (grades k-1)
Length: Five twenty-minute lessons


Lesson One:

Materials: Any type of collection you may keep as a hobby (ie., stamps, baseball cards, rocks etc.,)
Grouping activity materials: food cards, animal cards, (These cards could also reflect a curriculur element they are currently studying ie., 'school things'. 'things you see in your neigborhood')

Sponge Activity: Have the collection you brought in displayed when students come in for class. Explain that many people collect things that they like. Tell a little about your collection including why you chose the objects to collect. (this is also a fun time to let the kids know a little about you)
Ask: Does anyone here have a collection of anything? (or know someone who does?) How do you decide what to put in your collection? Guide the students to the idea that usually items in a collection have something in common (ie., they are all objects you think are pretty, they are all rocks, the baseball cards represent members of your favorite team) To illustrate this idea, use one of the sets of grouping cards to make a 'collection' (You could also do this with actual objects if you wanted to) Show and describe how you decide what to put in the collection or have students come up and choose an object to add to the collection.

Guided Practice: Using the sets of grouping cards or objects (if they are not too precious!) have small groups of students practice grouping things.
Or to add a physical element, use the kids themselves as the objects and choose things about them to determine the groups ie., all the kids with brown hair are in this group, all the kids wearing sneakers be in this group etc., With first graders, this may also help introduce the idea that some collections have 'over-lap')

Independent practice: Have students line up to go back to the classroom in groups.

If you allow students to check out at this point in the year, kindergarten students should have a set area or set group of books to choose from since they don't yet know how to find a book on their own (unless you have a couple of aides and their teacher to help!)

Lesson Two:

Materials: a picture book, a chapter book, a non-fiction book, and a reference book, collection display from lesson 1.

Sponge: When the students come in, seat them according to 'group' based on criteria of your choice. Don't tell them the criteria! (Shirt color or shoes are the easiest to do quickly)

Lesson: I sat you in groups when you came in today. Look at the other people in your 'group' and see if you can tell why I put you in this group. What do you all have in common? (Guide students to the answer) "If you were in a museum, I could call you a 'people' (or the teacher's name ie., The Mrs. Smith) collection! Did you know that books in our library are put on the shelves together in groups too? How do you think we might decide which books go in which group?" (List answers on board, help students connect the way they might group books to the way they grouped other objects in the last lesson)

Use the books you have chosen to talk about the individual collections in the library.

Could also show pictures of library books sorted by color or by size (but might confuse younger kids?)


Lesson Three:
Need a story about writing a book for this lesson......
Possible history connection
Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson (Author), Kathryn Hewitt (Illustrator)


Lesson Four
: Alphabet cards, several large 'books' with library labels on them

We know that the books in our library are in groups called collections. If we're looking for a specific book, how do you think we could find it? What do you know about the book you want? (I know I want a book about.....) Remember last week, we talked about the person who writes the words in a book? Who remembers what that person is called? (Author) In lots of libraries, the name of the author helps us decide where to put the book.


Lesson Five:

Oversize signs labeling each collection (?) A book about trains and 'stations' maybe?
The train game (from Reading Games for Young Children by Jackie Silberg, adapted for library use)
Have the kids form a train, or several small 'trains' As you travel in the 'train' around the library, tell them you are going to stop at certain 'stations'. Each station can be a collection you want the students to be able to locate or a part of the library (ie., the 'check-out' station, the 'book drop' station, the 'lesson' station, and the 'picture book' station)
To emphasize where various collections are, enlist a parent volunteer or two to come to class to help and have them take each small train around to the 'stations' in different orders. Let a student be the 'driver' who determines which collection you are going to visit first.

Alternative activity for lesson five: Create a set of cards using the dewey numbers for various sections or the spine labels for different collections types. Have the kids go to the section indicated on their card. You could also use this if you do 'stations' in the library