Library Links

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


Continents and Animals

Continents and Animals  - Library Skills
(thanks Lynne)

Lead students in researching 5 animals from around the world (1 from the ocean, and 4 from the seven continents.)

 The first page acts as a title page/table of contents. (Students can colour in the continent as they finish each animal.)   Each student produces a "mini-booklet" with cover page, 1 "ocean" page and 4 "continent" pages. Final product can be presented to the class, be included in a Student Led portfolio collection or go home for the fridge!

1. Introduce the continents with map or Smartboard lesson.
2. Review note-taking skills (ie Jot Notes or "Trash-N-Treasure")

3. Students use Print materials or eResources (eBooks, Worldbook, etc) to research their animal choices.

4. Students complete the pages in their mini-book and colour the images.

Spark Interest in the federal election: Elections Canada

Some resources to generate interest in the electoral process.
(From Elections Canada)

Trash-n-Treasure notetaking strategy

(Trash-n-Treasure technique is discussed halfway down the webpage)
"Demonstrate this concept using an overhead projector and transparency of an encyclopedia article or section. [...or Smartboard] The students should each have a copy of the article so they can follow along and practice the technique."

Lots of great ideas on the main site:

Tried and True: Bean Plants: A Growth Experience

Growing Beans in the Classroom
"To enhance a seventh-grade life science unit, the author had students grow bean plants in the classroom. Students were then able to observe roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit up close as they learned about them. Students who held misconceptions prior to the activity had them corrected, learned about plant parts and growth during the plant unit, and observed firsthand how plants change as they grow."

Grant Wiggins: Understanding by Design Webinar

The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units
Recorded March 10, 2011 - ASCD Webinar archive (59 mins)

Grant Wiggins is the president of Authentic Education in Hopewell, New Jersey, a consulting, research, and publishing organization. He earned an EdD. from Harvard University and a BA from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. Wiggins consults with schools, districts, and state education departments on a variety of reform matters; organizes conferences and workshops; and develops print materials and web resources on curricular change.

Based on the ASCD book, The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units, this webinar focused on how to design units of study using the UbD framework. (TKN) brings the world to the classroom

News with a Canadian perspective, for kids.

"On TKN you'll find original news articles on topics that are timely, relevant and intriguing. They are written for an elementary and intermediate school audience (grades 2-8) and can be used easily by kids, parents, and teachers."

Advancing Formative Assessment - interview

ASCD Talks with an Author
Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom: A Guide for Instructional Leaders By Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart (12min)

(This series offers short interviews with ASCD authors on topics of interest to teachers and administrators.)
ASCD, Assessment, mp3,


SLJ "Adult Books 4 Teens" blog

SLJ's "Adult Books 4 Teens" blog reviews a bumper crop of debut adult novels that work well for high school.

Check the archive links for previous reviews.

Also, a good list of current titles:

Novels with a Shakespearean theme

High school novels that use a Shakespeare theme
(Thanks LM-NET)

  • The madness of love by Katharine Davies (.....Twelfth Night)
  • Romiette & Julio by Sharon Draper  (....Romeo & Juliet)
  • Starcrossed by Mark Schreiber (....Romeo & Juliet)
  • A Girl, a ghost and the Hollywood hills by Lizabeth Zindel (....Hamlet)
  • Exposure by Mal Peet (.....Othello)
  • A winter night's dream by Andrew Matthews (....A Midsummer Night's) Dream
  • Love in idleness by Amanda Craig (....A Midsummer Night's dream)
  • Something' rotten in the state of Maryland by Laura Sonnemark (....Hamlet)
  • Confessions of a triple shot Betty by Jody Gehrman (....Much Ado About Nothing)
  • A thousand acres by Jane Smiley (....King Lear)
  • West Side Story..the novel (...Romeo & Juliet)
  • Fool's girl by Rees   (...Twelfth Night)
  • Son of the mob by Korman (...Romeo & Juliet)
  • Something rotten by Gratz (....Hamlet)
  • Something wicked by Gratz (....Macbeth)
  • This must be love by Sutherland (....Midsummer night's dream)
  • Lady Macbeth's daughter by Klein (....Macbeth)
  • Macbeth & son by French (....Macbeth)
  • Romeo's ex by Fiedler (...about Rosalind)
  • Hamlet by John Marsden (....Hamlet)

American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

While this site is American, the author provides some much needed perspective on First Nations issues and how they are explored in Children's Literature. She offers some recommended titles for American school libraries that might be good additions to libraries here.

From the website:
"American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more... (Site redesigned on July 29, 2010.)"


Am I frying my brain with my cell phone?  (High School Lab)

Cell Phone Radiation: How Close is Too Close? (Physics)
In the Lab Activities, you will conduct the Radioactivity iLab. With the real data you collect, you will perform analyses, discuss your results with classmates, and draw conclusions about how radiation changes as a function of distance. Am I frying my brain with my cell phone? 

What "kind" of readers are your boy and girl students?

Barb Langridge who works in Children's Services at the Howard County Central Library also writes for the "" site. She has indentified four broad categories of boy and girl readers that might help you get a handle on what your students prefer to read. Lots of great reviews and suggestions for each group.

  • Jokester/Thrillseeking Party Animal
  • Belonger Connector
  • Seeker/Leader
  • Answerman

  • Heart/Home/Friends Forever
  • Joan of Arc/Empath
  • Investigator/Analyst
  • Wild Thing/Mirette/Annie Oakley
readers' advisory,


"Funny Money" videos

A collection of videos (some animated) created by the IEF* to help educate students and adult consumers on financial issues. (More suitable for High School) While the clips may be a little "cheesy", they can be used to stimulate conversation with students.

*The Investor Education Fund (IEF) develops and promotes independent financial information, programs and tools to help consumers make better financial and investing decisions. It was established as a non-profit organization by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and is funded by settlements and fines from OSC enforcement proceedings.

Writing Strategy: Parody

Teaching Tips: Writing Parodies Across the Curriculum
William P. Bintz

A parody is a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule. The author describes and reports on an instructional lesson that was designed and implemented to help students write parodies across the curriculum. (PDF download)

Bintz, W.P. (2011, April). Writing Parodies Across the Curriculum. The Reading Teacher, 64(7), 511–514. doi: 10.1598/RT.64.7.4

Article: Reading Is Your Thing

Reading Is Your Thing (Even if You're Not a Reading Teacher)
Jeff Zwiers

The following activities (PDF download), Prediction Path and Quotation Café, are adapted from the IRA book Building Reading Comprehension Habits in Grades 6–12. They highlight the reading comprehension habit of making inferences and predictions, which can be used across content areas and grade levels.

Zwiers, J. (2011, April). Reading Is Your Thing (Even if You're Not a Reading Teacher). The Reading Teacher, 64(7), 543–545. doi: 10.1598/RT.64.7.11

UNICEF Report on Adolescence

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) focuses on adolescents around the world in their latest flagship report. The report reviews the rights of adolescents and includes profiles of adolescents living in various countries including the U.S., the Philippines, and Mexico. Statistical data on global education includes enrolment ratios, literacy rates, and attendance ratios. Perspective essays from notable individuals are also featured.

Critical Thinking activities

The Thinking Teacher is a monthly compendium of ideas, strategies and resources for teachers and teacher leaders who are working to support critical thinking among K-12 students and staff. The digest is published ten times a year, from September to June, by The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2).

This month's offerings include:
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • Clarify the Problem
  • My Left Foot: Stay or Go?
  • Teaching Archaeological Thinking
  • Will this work in Kindergarten?