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Digital Dewey System

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Keywords: Flip Video, Dewey Decimal Classifications,
Subject(s): Writing, Information Skills, English/Language Arts
Grades 2 through 4
NETS-S Standard:
  • Research and Information Fluency
View Full Text of Standards
School: John Thomas Elementary, Nixa, MO
Planned By: Jill VanderBaan
Original Author: Jill VanderBaan, Nixa
Strand 2. Organization: The student will categorize the library materials in a correct and organized manner. Local Objective 1 - The student will locate materials.

Note: The lesson took 4 30-minute library sessions

Lesson 1: Objective - At the end of the lesson, students will be able to: Evaluate examples of "how to" instructions

Materials: paper and pencils

Technology Components:

a) Projector
b) Document camera
c) Flip Camera
d) SmartBoard notebook file open to take notes for each class
e) Video clips of kids making paper airplanes


1. Anticipatory Set: play a paper airplane video

2. Statement of Objectives:

At the end of today’s lesson, students will be able to:

a) Evaluate examples of "how to" instructions
b) Write their own "how to" instructions

3. Provide Input:

a) Today we are going to begin our research of the nonfiction sections of our library by watching instructions for how to build a paper airplane
b) Why would this fall into the nonfiction section of our library?
c) We will watch all video clips and then determine which gave the best instructions and why we think so
d) Then you will follow the instructions as we build paper airplanes
e) Next week, you will write your own “how to” instructions, so it will be helpful to see how someone has done this.
f) Watch the first clip
g) THINK-PAIR-SHARE – Do you think you could follow the instructions? Is there anything they could have done better to make it easier to follow?
h) Watch the next video clip and repeat
i) Watch the final video clip and repeat
j) THINK-PAIR-SHARE - Which video clip would be easiest to use to create our own paper airplane? Why? If you created this video, how would you do it differently?
k) Write responses on the Smartboard to save for next week
l) Replay the video clip step by step as we build paper airplanes
m) Evaluate how we did:
n) If time is short, students to choose the best paper airplane from their table
o) Each table will take a turn flying their airplane(s)
p) We will evaluate how well we did by how well the paper airplanes fly
q) Next week, you will write your own instructions for how to do something. Please keep this in mind during the week
r) After you are done writing instructions, you will use your instructions to explain to the class how to do it.
s) Each of you will be Flip video taped
t) We will use the videos in the next class session as we begin our look at the nonfiction section of our library

Week 2-3

Objectives - At the end of the lesson, students will be able to create their own "how to" instructions


a) Paper
b) Pencils
c) "How to" presentation graphic organizers

Technology Components:

a) Projector
b) Document camera
c) Flip Camera

Students will write scripts for their own "how to" videos about a school appropriate topic of their choice by using the graphic organizer provided.

We will first look at our comments from last week about what made a good "how to" presentation.

Students will use their scripts to teach the class "how to" do something that interests them. Presentations will be recorded with a Flip video camera. After the videos of the presentations are created, we will move on to the Dewey Decimal System.

Week 4

Grades 2nd - 4th played a Dewey Decimal Classification game. Before students arrived, I inserted video clips and photographs from all 4 4th grade classes into a digital game. After each video clip or photograph was presented to the class, students worked together to answer questions to earn points for their team. The team with the most points at the end of the class session won the game.

As we played each "how to" videos or showed a photograph, students had to determine which Dewey Decimal Classification the instructions would sit in, if the video clip/photograph was a book in our library. (For example, 700's for sports; 600's for how to care for a pet...)

They used white board sheets to record their answers. Students were randomly chosen to share their question answer for their team. If the answer was wrong, the other team received a chance to "steal" their points with a correct answer. If the answer was correct, they earned points for their team.

Materials: Flip Video