Writing & Library Research Methods Lesson Plan: Finding Known Items

Lesson objective(s):  For students to locate items when they already know what they are

Total estimated time:  30 minutes

Additional outcome(s): General familiarity with the library as a system, reading citations

Course work or assignment underway:

This can be fit in at almost any point in the semester, but I’d probably do it either very early or as they are beginning to work on their bibliographies, to remind them what is out there.

Work and/or reading completed before class:

            None required.

Sequence of Classroom Activities

Students will break up into small teams and will be given a list of different types of items located in different parts of the library and/or online. They should locate and retrieve all the items on the list.

Reflection on the lesson’s success or alternative approaches:

Obviously, this works best if the class is in the library. Otherwise, it could be done purely online.

If it’s done with only print resources, another way to do this is to give the group the first item only and hide a clue for the next item in the first one.  This prevents students from splitting up the items and forces them to work together. However, it also adds further prep-time to what is already a fairly labor-intensive exercise for the instructor.

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