Lesson Plan : Introducing Encyclopedias

Teacher Name:
 Jane Moran
 Grade 2
 Literature Activities

 Introduction to the concept of the encyclopedia and its use.
 Encyclopedia Volume Guide Words ABC (alphabetical order) Article Index See Also
 To introduce second grade students to the concept of an encyclopedia and to train in the basic use of an encyclopedia
 By the completion of this lesson, TLW be able to: 1. Explain the general purpose of an encyclopedia. 2. Describe how to use an encyclopedia both by volume and by index. 3. Define the following terms: Guide words, ABC (alphabetical order), article, index.
 One encyclopedia volume per child. Set of cards with a subject from each encyclopedia volume that include the name of the encyclopedia set in which it is found that is arranged in volume order by set.
 "Have you ever wanted to know more about something?" (Ask for examples of things the students have ever wanted to know about. If necessary, prompt with "your favorite sport? The moon? Dinosaurs? etc.) Explain that the encyclopedia is a place where you can find information on lots of interesting subjects, and that we'll learn to use it today.
 Encyclopedias are books with information on many subjects. Encyclopedias are sets of several books. Each separate book is called a volume. Each volume contains part of the alphabet. Within the volume, the subjects are arranged in ABC order. Each subject has its own article, which is the information about the subject. Another way to find information is to use the index, which is a giant list in ABC order that gives the page number for every single subject in the encyclopedia. The index also includes notes called "see also" notes. These notes show places you can find information on the subject in addition to the subject's actual article. Some encyclopedia sets have an index in each volume; others have the index in its own volume at the end. Demonstrate the above throughout the the explanation using a topic like "dinosaur" or "tiger" using an encyclopedia with an index at the end and one with the index in the volume.
 Distribute one encyclopedia volume to each child. Ask them to place their finger on the volume number, then the letter of the volume. Point out guide words. Ask if their volume has an index; if so, find the index and point it out to their table mates who don't have a volume with an index.
 Children with low reading skills can work with a "buddy." Children who complete the task quickly and easily can be either "buddied up" with another student who is having difficulty or invited to spend more time looking at interesting things in the encyclopedia volume.
Checking For Understanding:
 By walking around and checking with the students, I will see if they are able to locate their concept. As the activity concludes, I will ask for a verbal review of the terms. (What is a volume? What is an index? etc.)
 I will point out where the encyclopedias are usually shelved in the media center and invite them to use them whenever they want to.

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