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Library Survivor
Content Topic:
Fifth graders have usually just completed their first year in
middle school. This fun, culminating activity tests and reinforces the location & access and OPAC skills they have gained through the year.
Collaboration Potential:
Low, although this activity could be expanded to include a classroom component based on any curricular area.
Total Estimated Time:
30 - 45 minutes
Suggested Number Of Sessions:
  • OPAC computers, library resources
  • Laminated slips of paper containing the names of islands, the challenges themselves, and the challenge tokens.
  • Mood music containing jungle sounds or drums can be used to enhance the mood.


Instruction / Activities:

Direct Instruction

·         TL lines up students outside the library and counts them off by twos, dividing them into two “tribes”.

·         TL directs each tribe to sit together in different parts of the library.  Each tribe selects the name of their island from the four laminated strips held by the TL.  (Two challenges require the students to know the name of their tribe’s island.)

·         SLMS explains the rules of the game:

o   Each member of each tribe will select one of the laminated challenges.

o   Tribe members get five minutes to complete their challenge, whether it is retrieving a book from the shelves, looking up information in the OPAC, or looking up information in a reference book.

o   Upon completing a challenge correctly, each student will receive a challenge token from the TL.

o   Tribe members who successfully complete challenges may sit quietly at their home table or help other tribe members complete their challenges.

o   At the end of the five minutes, the tribe with the most challenge tokens wins the treasure (each student gets to select one item from a plate of chocolate, mints, hard candy, etc.)


Modeling and Guided Practice

·         TLMS keeps time, reviews challenge results, and awards tokens as appropriate.

·         TL should be liberal in offering help or advice to tribe members who are truly stuck.  The goal is to have fun while reinforcing information literacy skills.

·         TL should keep the teams even or distribute the challenges in such a way as to insure that both teams will come out with the same number of tokens.  Be liberal with time or advice if one tribe member seems lost with a challenge.


Independent Practice

·         Tribe members must use their knowledge of the library collection, their OPAC searching skills, and their knowledge of reference books to answer all of their challenges.


Sharing and Reflecting

·         TL offers the “treasure chest” to the tribe that finished first, but there should be enough treasures for every student to select one.

·         TL leads students in reflecting how well they’ve learned how to use the library and its resources since they first walked into the place in September.  They are all now library survivors!

Tina Nabinger, LMS
Print this Lesson Plan
Presented By: Steven Nabinger
Collaborative: Tina Nabinger, LMS
Website by Data Momentum, Inc.