Super-sleuthing for Information Resources in Your School Library

Presented by: John Brock

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):

Description:

Introductory lesson plans for learning to use the typical school library act as templates adaptable to any subject area. Classes form detective agencies, adopt spy names, and sleuth for clues to where information resides in library resources.

Intended as a fun additional component to insert in traditional lesson plans, the skills required to complete these exercises increase student information vocabularies, and taps into and relies upon student motivation, multiple intelligences and different learning styles, and social cognitive awareness. These Information skills applications are designed to adapt to almost any subject area. Topics are assigned by teachers in any subject area or selected by students, then plugged-in to the template. Repetition of the lesson plan with different teachers in different subject areas will help demonstrate to students the power and flexibility of strong library research skills.

Goals & Objectives:

Students will be able to:

1. Create questions from their exploratory research
2. Supply answers, grade and analyze each others work
3. Produce a co-dependent synthesis
4. Use group discussions to analyze and present their findings.

Materials:

Super-sleuthing for Information Resources in Your School Library.ppt
Partner's log-book.ppt
Teacher's guide.doc
Hints and clues.doc

Sources:

Clip art used in PowerPoint presentations by license agreement with Microsoft Office Online.

Definitions of vocabulary words in the "Hints and Clues" document taken in whole or part from Merriam-Webster's Online dictionary.

Procedures:

I. Setting up Detective Agencies and names
a.)Divide number of students in class by four.
b.)Set up this number of Agencies.
c.)Name each agency. At teacher discretion,
students may participate in agency naming. It is suggested that interesting spy or detective names be used. Examples may include (but are not limited to):
Hardy boys, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, characters created by Barbara Taylor Bradford, Tom Clancy, Agatha Christie, Stephen King. A short list of detectives from readalikes.com includes British Bobbies, Cat Capers, Christmas Crime, Detecting Dames, Dynamic Duos, Hardboiled Detectives, Medieval Mysteries, and Sporting sleuths. (So the list is almost endless.) Students will have lot of current ideas.

d.) Using class roster, have each student create/select a Detective name.
Record this name.
e.) Assign (or allow students to select) an Agency (group) for each detective. 4 is the suggested number of students per Agency, but 3 or 5 works as well. The teacher or librarian can be an added member to an Agency as required.

II. Assign a topic to each detective (student), or provide students with a list of topics or categories in a subject area from which to choose. These topics can be integrated with any class assignment or project.

III. a.)Handout the "Super-sleuthing in Your School Library" 10 slide PowerPoint printout including the "Detectives Log" notes pages, 1 handout per student. Do not hand out the second part, "Detective Log Book," yet. Students should use the library and the handouts to file clues to information resources. They can come to the library as a class (pre-booked), as pairs, as Agencies, or as individuals.

b.) Have students copy and turn in one copy of completed "Super-sleuthing" assignment.

c.) When some or all of the Log books are completed and handed in within an Agency group, hand out completed "Super-sleuthing" assignments to another student in the Agency, along with the Detective Log book. Have students use the Super-sleuthing to fill out the Detective log. Students will need to work in the library. They can come as a class, as teams, unassociated groups, or individuals.

d.) Students should copy and turn in one copy of the completed Partner log.

IV.Wrapping up the Search for Information
a.) Agencies will need to meet briefly and complete KLW at the end of the Super-sleuthing module. Teachers are encouraged to involve the librarian, as required, in the Agency meetings.

b.) Agencies should be prepared to deliver a 3-minute presentation of their experience with searching for their resources at the end of the lesson. Teachers are encouraged to invite the librarian for these presentations, or to host them in the library.

Assessment:

Grading/Assessment

a.) There are between 10-15 responses requested for part I, "Super-sleuthin" and between 6-10 responses in part II, "Partner's Log." Along with group analyses and group presentation the total module should be considered a 20-point quiz. Extra weighting of the group discussion at the end, and the 3-minute presentation are strongly encouraged.



b.) Overall, it is hoped that the library information skill section might constitute 10% of the grade or assessment of a larger class topic within the curriculum.

Supporting Files:

Standards: