Information Literacy Lesson Plan
Dr. Judi Repman
Library Context: Lesson in a unit
Collaboration continuum: Limited
Content Topic: European Explorers
Estimated Lesson Time: 45 minutes
Standards for the 21st
Century Learner Goals
Standard 1: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.
1.1.6 Read, view and listen for information presented in any format (textual,
visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.
-Use various note-taking strategies like graphic organizers
-Paraphrase or summarize information in various formats
-Draw conclusions based on facts or premises
2.2.1 Demonstrate flexibility in the use of resources by adapting information
strategies to each specific resource and by seeking additional resources when
clear conclusions cannot be drawn
3.2.2 Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning
situations and by contributing questions and ideas during group discussions
1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers
Self-Assessment Strategies Indicator(s):
1.4.3 Monitor gathered information, and assess for gaps or weaknesses
1.4.4 Seek appropriate help when it is needed
A fourth grade teacher has expressed some interest in wanting to collaborate
with the media specialist for the first time in hopes of gaining some assistance
with teaching European explorers. The teacher is just beginning her unit on the
topic and would like for her students to be able to complete their required ELA
informational writing piece on a specific European explorer, as opposed to the
traditional choice to write about an animal. The social studies standard states
that the student will describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments
of the Spanish, French and English explorations of six different explorers (John
Cabot, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Juan Ponce de Leon, Christopher Columbus,
Henry Hudson and Jacques Cartier). The teacher will introduce the explorers in
the classroom and work on the skills associated with informational writing, which
has already been introduced and modeled in the classroom. The media
specialist will teach a lesson on effective note taking strategies using a graphic
organizer. The students will be presented with lots of “extra” information via a
video (a viewing and listening skill) about European explorers and will learn how
to only take notes on the facts and details that are needed. The classroom
teacher will continue in the classroom with the informational writing on the
explorers and the media specialist will assist throughout the unit with
using/locating available resources to find all necessary facts and details.
Connection to Local or State Standards
Content Standards for 4th
Grade Social Studies: The student can describe
European Exploration in North America.
Content Standards for 4th
Grade ELA: The student can produce informational
writing that includes appropriate facts and details and draws from more than one
source of information such as speakers, books, newspapers, and online
This group of fourth graders will conduct research on European exploration and
produce an informational writing piece reflecting their understanding of one of the
required explorers on the list. More specifically, the students will learn how to
include appropriate facts and details in their writing and how to find needed
information from more than one source.
Students will complete a graphic organizer on each required explorer with
appropriate facts and details. The students will then use the information on the
graphic organizer to assist with their informational writing piece on a specific
Students will view a video on European explorers and fill in a graphic organizer
on the six explorers they are responsible for knowing. The students will listen
and watch for appropriate facts and details in accordance with the organizer. The
students will continue to fill in the graphic organizer with other available sources
for the next two visits to the media center.
Product: The teacher, the media specialist and students assess whether or not
they have all the needed information filled in on the graphic organizers for each
explorer and will check for accuracy.
Process: Students will raise hands with questions or clarifications during video.
Also, students can work together on following visits to make sure graphic
organizers are complete and accurate.
Student Self-Questioning: What information am I still missing on (explorer)?
Do I have enough information to write about (explorer)?
Do I really understand the reason for the exploration?
Do I really understand the explorer’s obstacles he faced?
Resources students will use: websites, books, reference, videos
Direct Instruction: The media specialist introduces the students to graphic
organizers and gives them all one on explorers. The media specialist will go over
the different explorers and what the student is responsible for finding out about
Modeling and Guided Practice: The media specialist will model how to listen to
and view a source and take effective notes at the same time. The students will
have guided practice filling in their graphic organizer.
Independent Practice: The students will have independent practice with filling
in their information on their graphic organizer that they are not able to obtain from
the video during the lesson.
Sharing and Reflecting: The students will be able to share their organizers with
other classmates during the process in order to compare information for
accuracy. The students will be able to reflect on what they have written
compared to what others have written. The students will be able to add or
change information after careful reflection.
**Below is a copy of the graphic organizer that we used in the media center
lesson. Taken from the state’s framework for 4th
grade social studies
The hardest part so far in my experience as a media specialist (1 1/2
years) is learning how to collaborate and then finding time to fit it into my
schedule and the teacher’s schedule. This particular collaboration effort was no
different. I thought maybe working with just one teacher would make it a little
easier, but not really. Once we finally had time to discuss the unit and I figured
out the desired outcomes the teacher was looking for, then it was a little easier to
plan the instruction with the students. Unfortunately, there were so many
different lessons that I could have done with this group in this unit, but again with
our fixed media center schedule, it was hard to fit in extra media center time for
The state of Georgia has done a great job with gathering and creating
useful resources and handouts for the elementary social studies standards. This
fourth grade teacher stated from the beginning of our first discussion that she
loved all the resources, but did not have any where near enough time to use
them all. So, I decided to use one of the graphic organizers in the framework to
help the students learn how to take effective notes.
The day of the lesson, I took for granted that my projector and computer
that I use almost everyday in my media center lessons would work properly for
this particular assignment. After I had passed all the papers and pencils out and
talked to the students about what we were going to do and got them all excited, I
pressed play on the united streaming video and we could see it just fine…we just
couldn’t hear anything. The tech guys worked on the system the day before to
hook up my TV to the projector as well and apparently messed with my sound.
After trying to diagnose the problem for about 10 minutes, I finally decided to wait
until the next class to complete the graphic organizer. So, I decided to talk to
them about where in the library they could find other resources on their explorers
until we had to evacuate the building for about 30 minutes in the cold due to
some unknown burning smell. Talk about learning to be flexible
Once the lesson finally got under way, on another day, it was a decent
lesson. The kids liked the video, but learning how to listen, view and then find
their place on the graphic organizer was definitely new to most of them. I had to
keep pausing the video and walk around showing students where to write the
information they just heard. Another issue that I never anticipated was how
poorly some of them spelled. Many of them may have taken notes, but most of
them would not be able to read their notes later. I suppose they are so used to
looking at information from the board or a book and then just copying what they
Two things I would definitely change for next year when I hopefully get to
assist with this unit again. I would use an ELMO or other device to project the
graphic organizer so that the students could see what I write and where I write it.
Also, I think the video I used had too much information about the explorers. Next
time, I’d like to find several videos that would cover only one or two explorers on
Due to the lesson’s short amount of time, the students had quite a bit of
information to fill in on their own for the next few days. Next time, I will definitely
have the students work with partners to complete the organizer. A couple of kids
that needed extra support just ended up copying other’s information. It’s also
hard as a media specialist to find informational books on lower reading levels. I
answered lots of questions that dealt with not being able to read words or
understand words in the books.
Unfortunately, again due to time, the students are not finished with their
informational writing on their explorers. They finished their graphic organizers
and are using them to help with their writing. The teacher and I both plan to look
over the pieces and we are also planning on showcasing them in the media
center for others to read. She and I have had limited collaboration time on this
unit, much of which was us passing each other in the hall and talking. However,
I’m hoping that this experience with her will lead to more collaboration efforts
between us in the future. I believe she and I both have kind of learned what
information we need from each other in order to work together to help her
students…it’s just a matter of making the time to meet together. Overall, this was
a great learning experience for me.