Posted in Education, Library

Navigating the Library first-third

I’ve been teaching Pre-K to 8th for over a month now. Beings that I had only worked with high school students (some middle school) in the past I guess I didn’t think about the fact that being able to navigate a library, knowing to only pull out one book at a time, and knowing that all books have an author is something that is learned. It makes sense now…there is a lot of good lessons out there for teachers to help with literacy, the alphabet, read-aloud activities, ect. But besides scavenger hunts there wasn’t much that I found to help students (first, second, and third) navigate the library.

For nonfiction I did try a scavenger hunt using questions like “Find a book on fairy tales and write one character that is in it.” There were four questions like this and they were also given a Dewey cheat sheet. Most students only got about two done. So for the next week I gave them a “Secret Dewey Number” in an envelope that they shared with a group. Individually they had to find a book in their category (for example I just said get a book in the 500’s), write down the title, call number, and one thing they learned from the book. This assignment went much better. Here is a Prezi I’m showing next week to help some more:



For first and second I am focusing more on navigating fiction before we start nonfiction since that seems to always be harder. One thing we did was I wrote down letters and folded them up and put them in a bucket. Each student (second grade) picked a letter and had to find a book whose author’s last name began with that letter. We had a discussion about the author’s names always being last name first and the shelves going from A to Z first. There was still a little confusion but for the most part everyone got this.

We did do a side by side comparison of FICTION and NONFICTION which most of the first graders understood. It was surprising to me that the physical limitations of where the items where was so confusing when they were so good at telling me what the difference between the two are! It is something I am definitely going to continue to work on.

I’m still trying to think of ideas and using some ideas I’ve seen from others to tweak them a little to better serve my students. For parents, take your kids to the library! It’s free, they have movies, books, sometimes crafts or something else. When you’re there please explain book care. We teach it in schools of course but it is still something that needs to be reiterated. Working the alphabet into conversations and games is another big help in teaching students how to correctly navigate the library.



I am writer, education activist, doodler, and coffee/tea enthusiast.

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