Thursday, February 20, 2014

Understanding Databases Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will be useful to teachers who are interested in using research databases and North Carolina literature in the classroom. Media Specialists, English teachers and Social Studies teachers will all find this lesson relevant to their goals and standards. This is the first lesson plan on our education blog, so let's celebrate with your feedback! Click on the title to see the lesson plan in Google Docs. Worksheets are at the bottom of the page.

Learning Outcomes
Students will:
·         Become familiar with online academic databases, including the North Carolina Literary Map database, NC WiseOwl, OCLC WorldCat, and their school library catalog.
·         Recognize the characteristics of a database and be able to identify the type of information a database is storing and their target audience.
·         Be able to use the North Carolina Literary Map and WorldCat to find a library copy of a North Carolina book.

Teacher Planning
Time required for lesson: Two 30 to 40 minute class periods.
·         Access to the websites:
o   NC Literary Map
o   NC WiseOwl
o   WorldCat
o   Your School Library Catalog
·         A whiteboard or chalkboard.
·         An overhead projector.
·         Worksheets #1 & #2

One the first day of the unit teachers will lead a discussion on databases while the students fill out worksheet #1 together as a class. Two definitions of a database will be provided. The class will discuss what data and a database is, and they will write their own definition for data and database. The teacher will lecture and encourage discussion on the characteristics of a database, including whether it has to be digital. Students will be asked to think of examples of databases. These can include databases such as Google (database of URLS), YouTube (database of videos), and Netflix. However, databases with narrower topics are encouraged. Teachers will make the important distinction between an authoritative academic database and a general internet database.
·         Teachers will
o   Discuss how databases are used for everyday information.
o   Provide answers for the notes worksheet.
o   Explain the concepts of “type of information” and “scope of information.”

The second portion of worksheet #2 requires a computer. Either move to a computer lab or the school library for the second portion of the lesson, or begin the lesson in one of these locations. On the second day the focus will be academic databases. Begin Worksheet #2 by answering the following questions about these four academic databases and discussing the concepts with the class. Fill in the boxes together.

NC WiseOwl
Grimsley Library Catalog
North Carolina Literary Map
OCLC WorldCat

Type of Information

Target Audience

The next part of the worksheet focuses on gathering information using the NC Literary Map and WorldCat. Students will choose a North Carolina book and author using the Literary Map. They will record some information about the author and their book to share with the class, particularly the location where the book takes place. They will then use WorldCat and/or the school library catalog to locate a library copy of this book.
·         Answer the questions on the worksheet and share the information with the class in the end of the lesson.
·         Use WorldCat to find where a physical copy of the book is held. Mark the library on the worksheet.
·         On the worksheet there is a picture of a map of North Carolina. Mark where the book takes place or where the author lives, or both.
·         Have the students present their information on their chosen book and author to the class. The teacher will add the books they found to a map on the overhead.
·         At the end of class you will have a map of the North Carolina related books for your classroom or your school library.

Participation/Demonstrated understanding of the material.
Active in class discussion with information that is relevant and thoughtful.
Active in class discussion with information that is sometimes relevant and sometimes not relevant, but is paying attention.
Speaks, but information is not relevant. Seems mostly disconnected from conversation or not paying attention.
Does not speak or seem to be paying attention.
Completion of worksheet #1
Worksheet is completely filled with the information discussed in class.
Worksheet is missing a few answers, but is mostly filled.
Worksheet has less than half of the answers filled.
Worksheet is blank or has only one or two notes.
Completion of worksheet #2
Every answer is filled out to satisfaction. Information is presented to the class.
A few answers were skipped, but overall well done. Information is presented to the class.
Information is incomplete and limited information is presented to the class.
Worksheet is incomplete or blank and/or student has not presented their information to the class.

Supplemental Information

North Carolina Common Core/ Essential Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).