Lesson Plan : Doing Dewey

Teacher Name:
 Ms. Anne O'Donnell
 Grade 6

 Dewey Decimal Classification System
 To aid students in understanding general library/media center terminology and the basic hundreds "breakdown" of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
 Students will understand the terminology that is used in the library/media center. Students will also become familiar with the basics of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
 1. Students will be able to successfully complete an activity in which they recognize the definitions of terminology commonly used in the library/media center. 2. Students will be able to successfully complete an activity which demonstrates that they have a reasonable (70%) understanding of the hundreds "breakdown" of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.
 Library Lingo Word Search; Library Lingo Puzzle; Doing Dewey Maze; 10 non-fiction books for each media center table; Doing Dewey Hidden Message Word Search; Doing Dewey Classroom hundreds breakdown information sheet
 This lesson would be held over a period of three media class visits. During the first visit, students are introduced to the termimology used in the library/media center. The second and third lessons involve the background of the Dewey Decimal Classification System and an overview of the DDCS. Library Lingo and Doing Dewey allow students to better understand how to "communicate" in library/media center terms and how to locate non-fiction information without the use of a computer in any library or media center organized by the DDC. LIBRARY LINGO: A very general discussion of the sometimes odd terms used by librarians and media coordinators begins the lesson. Presentation of reasons why it is important to know the terminology is also discussed. DOING DEWEY: Students will be asked to visualize an event in which someone has come into the media center the night before and removed all of the books from the shelves. They have also removed all of the spine labels from all of the books! Students will be offered the opportunity to REORGANIZE the media center in any way they would like.
 LIBRARY LINGO: Students have been exposed to library terminology since they began using media centers in the first grade. Students are be asked to provide their definition of the various terms used on the LIBRARY LINGO WORD SEARCH and LIBRARY LINGO PUZZLE. During the discussion portion, students are encouraged to assist each other in correcting their definitions, until the correct definition has been established. DOING DEWEY: Begin this lesson with the DOING DEWEY MAZE. This is a fun way to demonstrate to students that the books on the cart must make it back to the shelves to be useful. Students sometimes have a difficult time thinking of new ways to organize the media center, so it may be necessary to "jump start" their creative juices. Once students understand what is being asked of them, they generally decide to organize the books as follows: by size, by color, by author's last name, by title, etc. Some of them even come up with rather far-fetched ideas as organizing by the books they like the best to the books they like the least...or...whether or not they like the picture on the cover, etc. Once in a while, one student will come up with the brilliant idea to organize all of the non-fiction information by topic or subject! Bingo! Next comes a discussion of Melvil Dewey and his creation of a subject-based organization of all non-fiction information in the 1800s. Students are then given copies of the DOING DEWEY 100S BREAKDOWN INFO SHEET as we discuss each of the 10 hundreds sections of Dewey. As they see this on paper, it often makes much more sense to them. When using a real-world example of needing to locate information, the light blubs generally go on over students heads. For example, you might explain that their teacher has assigned a report to gather all of the books in the media center concerning South America. Explain that there are about 30 of those books in the collection. Using the "new" organizational techniques provided by the students (color, size, title, etc...), students soon see that their organizational techniques would be cumbersome at best! Students have an even more difficult time attempting to understand HOW to organize those Dewey numbers! The saying is "Digit by Digit, Behind the Decimal". Explain this concept to students.
 LIBRARY LINGO: Once the instructor feels that everyone understands the terminology, students are provided with the LIBRARY LINGO WORD SEARCH and the LIBRARY LINGO PUZZLE to complete. These puzzles may be completed individually, or to stimulate discussion, allow students to work as groups at each table. DOING DEWEY: After explaining how to file Dewey books (digit by digit, behind the decimal), have each group of students (at tables) organize the 10 non-fiction books at their table in the correct order. Have a sealed envelope with the correct sort order on the table. This is to be opened once they believe they have all of their books properly organized. Allow students to complete the DOING DEWEY HIDDEN MESSAGE WORD SEARCH individually.
 LIBRARY LINGO 1. Media Buddy Program (Gifted & Lower-Level Students) - Allow gifted students to act as media assistants and accompany lower-level students to the Lending Desk and assist in using appropriate terminology to conduct media center business. 2. SCRIPT YOUR VISIT (Gifted Students) - Have students develop a script for a conversation in the library/media center. The script must include all of the terms used in the lesson. DOING DEWEY: 1. MEDIA BUDDIES PROGRAM (Gifted & Lower-Level Students) - Have gifted students serve as media assistants and assist other lower-level students in recognizing the 100 Dewey area most appropriate for their particular media search. 2. DOING DEWEY TO THE TENS (Gifted Students) - Have students conduct further research on the breakdown of the DDC. Have them pick one of the hundreds categories and break it down to the "tens" breakdown simply by searching the shelves. 3. ORGANIZING NON-FICTION BOOKS (Multicultural Students) - When selecting books to be placed in stacks of ten on each table for review by students, include titles that reflect different cultures, different religions, different ideas.
Checking For Understanding:
 Create a rubric for use of terminology and understanding of the Dewey 100s breakdown. Since these students visit the media center every two weeks, rubrics could be created that can be given to classes at random. Language Arts/Reading teachers are generally very good about allowing the media coordinator to conduct an activity with their students while they are in the media center and then accepting a grade for inclusion in the students grade average.
 Discuss again with students the importance of using appropriate terminology in any library/media center. The importance of knowing the Dewey breakdown can be demonstrated by reminding them about the initial activity when they made decisions on "new" ways to organize the non-fiction collection!
 Student achievement of the learning objectives can be measured through the use of rubrics. This would provide a very "concrete" way to measure learning. A more abstract way of measuring learning will be the decrease in the number of students that are asking the media coordinator "where" to locate topical information, as more students should be relying on their knowledge of the Dewey 100s breakdown and the COM CATS (computer catalogs).

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