Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


short narrative films - FUTURESTATES

FUTURESTATES (For High school Language Arts and Video/Film teachers.)

Imagining tomorrow’s America today, FUTURESTATES is a series of independent mini-features — short narrative films created by established filmmakers and emerging talents transforming today’s complex social issues into visions about what life in America will be like in decades to come.

The result is FUTURESTATES, a series of groundbreaking digital shorts. Each episode presents a different filmmaker’s vision of American society projected forward, fusing an exploration of social issues with elements of speculative and science fiction.

Teacher Guides (PDF downloadables)

The mini-feature films.

Documentary about the Berlin Wall

After the Fall by Eric Black and Frauke Sandig
Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, After the Fall searches for traces of this monolith within the people who lived in its shadow. (LINK to video)

Film resource site

(If you have trouble with "streaming stutter", you might want to use

Documentary - "T-Shirt Travels"

T-Shirt Travels by Shantha Bloemen
An eye-opening documentary (54.min)  tracing how secondhand clothing donated to charity in the western world eventually lands in Zambia, Africa, and how the communities that trade and resell these clothes are impacted. (LINK to video)

Site with extras (interviews, history of Zambia, etc)

(If you have trouble with "streaming stutter", you might want to use

Inquiry Circles in teaching

Listen to Harvey Daniels interview two master teachers from The Burley School in Chicago (Debbie King and Michele Timble) who use Inquiry Circles in their teaching.
Click the link to listen to the podcast.

Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels discuss their book, Comprehension & collaboration : inquiry circles in action.
Click the link to watch the video

"Copyright Criminals" - Webinar

Copyright and Fair Use in the Art World and the Classroom
(This is from a US perspective.  Presentation starts at the 20 min mark)

During this webinar, filmmaker and scholar Kembrew McLeod, whose film "Copyright Criminals" recently aired on PBS's Independent Lens, was joined by law professor Peter Jaszi, media producers/educators Chris Runde and Joe Fatheree, and National Community Engagement and Education Manager for ITVS, Annelise Wunderlich. Participants view a clip from the film and listen to speakers as they discussed the implications of copyright and Fair Use laws in the art world and the classroom and shared best practices in student media production. (Ms. Wunderlich also highlights film modules and lesson plans based on the film and developed by ITVS Community Classroom.)

Access Webinar:
(Use Firefox for this) : Full version | Audio recording | Chat log

Film website

Free Resources and Materials

View Clips From the movie

QR Codes and Why You Need One

QR Codes and Why You Need One--a "How To"
Shonda Brisco has posted some links to support those using QR codes. (Thanks Shona!)

What is a QR Code and Why Do You Need One?

HOT QR Codes in the Classroom and Library (Gwyneth Jones)

QR Codes 101:

How to Make a Quick Response Code:

QR Code Generator:

Teaching The Diary of Anne Frank - Webinar

A Fresh Look at Teaching The Diary of Anne Frank
(Webinar presented by PBS Teachers and Classroom 2.0)
Discussing the all-new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank (CLIP) airing on Masterpiece and reviewing educator materials created for middle school and high school. These materials include a teacher's guide created in collaboration with the Holocaust education organization Facing History & Ourselves and special Resources for Youth, which offer concrete ways to take action against issues of intolerance as well as encourage self-expression through digital journaling options.

Individual sections of The Diary of Anne Frank Teacher's Guide:Introduction  pdfHistorical Context  pdfHandout: Key Dates  pdfUsing the Film  pdfHandout: Making History Personal  pdfRevised Passages  pdfHandout: revised Passages  pdfDiary Form  pdfFrancine Prose Interview  pdfResources  pdfCredits  pdf

Access Webinar (Use Firefox to view): Full version | Audio recording | Chat log
Anne Frank, PBS, webinar


Picture Perfect Science Lessons - using children's books

Webinar: Ideas about Inquiry and Example Lesson
A segment of the Web Seminar: NSTA Press: PPSL Using Children's Books to Guide Inquiry, Wednesday, December 17, 2008. The podcast is 10 minutes 47 seconds in duration. (Use Firefox, not Safari to view the presentation. - Click on the "archive" link in order to view the webinar.)

NSTA, children's books, science,

Science Lab Video Clips

"This organization is dedicated to bringing high-quality science education to underserved students in California and New York. Visit the organization’s YouTube page to watch volunteering engineers share their research or lab experiences through hands-on experiments."
Videos cover a range of topics, some at a simple level, some more complex.

Sample: Fluffy Muffins

(Iridescent homepage)
Iridescent, science, videos, youtube,

Forensic Science Magazine for High School

High School Mag
Issues can be downloaded as PDFs and read off-line
eMagazine, forensics, science,

Knowords - vocabulary game

"Knoword is a game of quick thinking, smart decisions and great words. It focuses on teaching and advocating proper spelling habits. What makes Knoword different from all the other fun word games out there is that it's fun! With its fast-paced gameplay and a competitive and comprehensive player ranking system, Knoword pushes the limits on contemporary puzzle games and provides its players with a truly rewarding experience."
Users can choose either American or Canadian spellings.

Take Your Students on a trip

"Reading Around the World"
TL Louise Colette has developed a great activity for her Grade 2s that could be adapted for use with almost any grade. Students have faux-passports and plane tickets, and board a make-believe plane complete with the "safety talk." On the way, they view an inflight movie (projected Youtube clip) and when they "land", read a story set in their destination country.

A followup activity could be to have students create a photo album of favourite sights (either digitally or by hand, with pictures or drawings), make and fill in post cards for relatives "back home" and possibly share "in flight" country-appropriate treats on the flight back.

Watch the clip: the kids are having fun! (leave a comment for her class if you like.)

Good afternoon!  My 2nd graders and I are reading around the world this
year.  Please check out my blog post on the subject, which is a movie we
made on our trip to China.  Comments are greatly appreciated!

Louise Colette Leonard, B.A., M.L.I.S.
Library Director
Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

Here are some downloadables to use.

Large Files:
These PDFs are good print quality but take a little more time to download.Pretend Printable Passport - Canadian

Small Files: 
These PDFs will download more quickly. Pretend Printable Passport - Canadian

Here is a link to free printable country stickers. Purchase blank sticker pages at your business supplies store, print, and cut-out stickers.


Plane/Cabin sound effects

Create a pretend ticket

Anti-Racism Day, March 21

Passages to Canada: Dismantling Racism Learning Tools
"Passages to Canada is a national storytelling initiative of the Historica-Dominion Institute, generously sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group and Citizenship and Immigration Canada."

Downloadable PDF Lesson Plans
Dismantling Racism High School Learning Tools
Dismantling Racism ESL Learning Tools

Digital Archive

Baltej Singh Dhillon (RCMP - Burnaby)
Audio track with transcript.

Building bridges between young adult literature and the classics

From Hinton to Hamlet:
building bridges between young adult literature and the classics
"The required classics in grades 7-12 are often too complex and removed from adolescent experience. This informative text uses thematic groupings built around recent young adult literature (YAL) as bridges to the classics. This second edition, which the authors have revised and greatly expanded, emphasizes the goal of helping teenagers become lifetime readers, as well as critical and confident readers. By pairing the required classics and young adult literature around common themes, the authors illustrate specific theme connections and include extensive lists of annotated YAL titles at the end of each classic title."

classics, YA lit,

Exploring "School Library" Impact Studies - videos

The Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement:
(Exploring the School Library Impact Studies) 
Jamie Helgren, LRS Research Fellow, and Keith Curry Lance, consultant at RSL  Research and former Director of the Library Research Service, discuss the impact  of school libraries on student achievement in this 7 part video series, produced by Sean Lamborne, LRS Research Fellow.

View the videos at the LRS link above, or
on Vimeo at "LRS  interviews Keith Curry Lance about school impact  studies"
LRS, school library impact,


A new crop of Dystopian Tales

Catch a Rising Tide of Dystopian Tales
"Cataclysmic climate change often characterizes young adult dystopian novels. Natural disasters triggered by global warming are a recurrent backdrop in dramatic tales of teens coming of age under repressive government control. Fire up Earth Day discussions and reading lists with these recent titles, full of complex characters, action-packed plots, and provocative ethical questions."

Additional Resources from Teaching

"Investigating Images" Activity

Drawing Inferences - Investigating images:
"Students draw inferences based on visual clues or observations in this lesson from the TC2 Investigating Images series. They also create plausible explanations by answering the "5W" questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why?" (4 page PDF with lesson plan and graphic organizers)

This 2-minute video introduces students to using visual images as sources of detailed information. The video is based on materials from the Lesson PDF above.
TC2, drawing inferences, investigating images,

Comparing websites for credibility

Judging website credibility
"Whether conducting research for a school project or surfing the Internet at home, students need to judge the quality of information they find. In this series of lessons from Tools for Thought, students develop criteria for a believable website and compare different sites for credibility."

The 12 page PDF has a good lesson flow and some graphic organizers for the teacher to use with students. Suggested URLs will need to be checked and updated as some of the "spoof" sites may no longer be available. (Archived versions might be found via the "WaybackMachine" at .)

website evaluation, Tools for Thought,

"Quotable Quotes" Response Activity

Teaching Critical Thinking - Responding to a Quotable Quote
Give students a meaningful quote to "chew on" and discuss. Use the lesson plan and graphic organizer to push students' thinking.

Sample Quote:
"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."   (Maya Angelou, author and poet)
TC2, Quotable Quote, critical thinking,


Google results explained (Spoof site)

When teaching internet savvy strategies, it's good to have some "spoof" sites to examine. Here's one dreamed up by the folks at Google. (The bottom of the page lets viewers in on the joke.)

"As a Google user, you're familiar with the speed and accuracy of a Google search. How exactly does Google manage to find the right results for every query as quickly as it does? The heart of Google's search technology is PigeonRank™, a system for ranking web pages developed by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University."

The "Year of Science" site

In celebration of The Year of Science, the B.C. government, in partnership with the Science Fair Foundation BC, and in collaboration with science educators and professionals, have developed a series of fun and challenging science activities and experiments for kindergarten to grade 12 students – The Science Challenge takes place from January through May 2011.

interactive tutorial on web evaluation

Here's an  interactive tutorial on web evaluation from Vaughn Memorial Library (VML) at the Acadia University, Nova Scotia.  
Check it out at:

VML also has other tutorials: "You Note It, You Quote It !, one on searching, plagiarism, etc.
See the other tutorials here:

QR codes for novels?

This might be more of  "High School Library" post, but here goes:

Affixing a QR code to the back of a library book allows students to view reviews, or an author website or booktrailer (whatever you choose) right from their phone. You could even post a couple of QR codes on your website, or on the door to the library.

A QR Code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. (Apps like Mobio and Kaywa allow phones to read the code) The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. What does this mean?  Simply put, it means QR codes will allow the user to watch book trailers right on their smart camera phones.

How do they work?

How to create them?

Some Middle School QR codes to booktrailers
Some Upper Grade QR codes to booktrailers
More titles & Codes
QR code, booktrailer,