Gathering and Recording Bibliography Information

Presented by: Mary Dixon

Subject Area(s):

Grade Level(s):


In collaboration between a fifth grade teacher and an elementary LMS, a WebQuest of National Parks was created. This WebQuest provided a cooperative group experience whereby students researched the physical, historical, geographical, and ecological aspects of various National Parks. Their work culminated in a written report and oral Power Point presentation. This WebQuest can be found at:

In the course of this research project, students were taught the importance and process of creating a bibliography. Instruction was focused on bibliographies for books, magazines, encyclopedia articles, and web pages because those were the sources the students would use in their research.

Goals & Objectives:

Students will understand why a bibliography is important, what information is needed for a bibliography, and where to find the information within a source.


Overhead projector/overheads of bibliography forms OR an Elmo presenter, PowerPoint presentation with computer and large screen monitor or LCD projector, copies of title/copyright pages and other identifying information from sources


Once the project was introduced to the LMS, the classroom teacher and LMS met numerous times to plan the aspects of the project and the division of instruction and supervision. In addition to supervision of online research, it was decided that the LMS would teach the students to prepare a bibliography and create a PowerPoint presentation. It was further decided that at the fifth grade level, it was most important that students recognize the need for citing sources and the information needed. Although the forms used for collecting information are prepared in the order the information appears, the students were not expected to write it in bibliographic format. The lesson on bibliographies followed this procedure:

1. Upon student arrival, students will be welcomed and asked to envision a scenario where they have become educated in an area, have spent a significant amount of time researching a topic and have written an article for a magazine. How would they feel if someone came along and took their ideas and didn't give them credit? (This can be tailored to the students' interests)

2. The librarian will then introduce the lesson objective.

3. An introduction to the purpose of a bibliography is then given to the students through the use of a PowerPoint presentation. This format is motivating to students and provides a forum for class discussion regarding the need for providing bibliography information. Also, since this is the format for their culminating activity, it was felt that increased exposure to PowerPoint would increase the level of student comfort with project expectations.

During the presentation, the questions of who produces a bibliography, why a bibliography is needed, and what information is included in a bibliography will be answered.

4. Students will then practice gathering and recording bibliography information together as a whole group led by the librarian.( A book bibliography was chosen to use first for instruction because it requires less information and the needed information can be located within two pages of the book.) Copies of the title and copyright pages of a book are then given to the students.

5. The librarian will project a copy of the bibliography form for a book on a screen so all students can see the form. (See Supporting Media)

6. Then the librarian will ask the students to look at the projected bibliography form and tell the librarian the first piece of information that is needed for the citation. Students will reply that the author's name (first and last name) is needed. Students will be instructed to find the author's name on the copies of the title/copyright pages.

7. The librarian will choose a student to give the answer and will then write it on the overhead of the bibliography form. Students will be praised for their work in finding the answer. Students will also be instructed to let the librarian know if they are having difficulty finding the needed information.

8. Students that are experiencing difficulty will be immediately assisted by the librarian or by other students that have found the correct information to prevent frustration with the activity.

9. The librarian will then follow this procedure to work through the entire bibliography form. Upon completion of the form, the librarian will recap the information needed by pointing it out on the form and summarize where this information was located within the source. This reinforces student understanding and builds student confidence in their ability to locate the needed information.

10. The same process is used to cover the bibliography forms for magazine articles, encyclopedia articles, and web pages. (See Supporting Media)

11. If students will not have an opportunity to practice independently locating and recording needed information during the lesson, it is important that they have the opportunity to do so (either as part of their actual research or just as practice) within a short period of time of this instruction in an effort to cement student learning.


Through discussion with students at the end of instruction, the librarian will evaluate student understanding. Further, observation of independent student practice of this skill during the research process or in subsequent library classes will determine if further instruction by the librarian is needed.


Connie Tubbs, Fifth Grade Teacher at Fowler Elementary

Supporting Files: