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Famous People
The students will become familiar with several famous people in history. This activity may be included in a social studies unit about famous people of the past. The students will choose a topic, do research, take notes, and create a final document including scanned photographs, building confidence in their ability to achieve the learning requirements.
Goals & Objectives:


-learn to use simple print and electronic encyclopedias to locate information about a famous person.

-learn to take simple notes.

-compile the facts gathered into a written report.

-become familiar with the use of scanned pictures.

-learn to locate biography books in the library media center.

-read a biography book to learn about a specific person and share that information with the class.



-become interested in the research process.

-understand the importance of information skills.

-experience increased confidence in research ability

-understand the value of information skills.

-achieve satisfaction in research accomplishments.

Materials & Sources:

List of People to Research Notetaking Form


Author: Charlotte Brown
Adapted by Kori Gerbig, School of Information Studies,
Syracuse University
School Library Media Activities Monthly
February 1997; 13(6); 24-26


-The library media specialist instructs the students in the use of both print and electronic encyclopedias, works with students in small groups while they locate and record facts, scans the chosen picture with each group, prints the picture sheet, and introduces the biography section, assisting students in locating a book of their choice.
-The classroom teacher develops the notetaking form and discusses notetaking on this form with students, makes assignments, assists students in writing and editing the written report, communicates with parents, and coordinates the dress-up day.


Part #1
-The library media specialist searchers the availbale sources to determine people that are included in both print and electronic media.
The classroom teacher assigns these names to groups (or "learning buddies").
-During the first session in the library media center, the library media specialist demonstrates to the students some of the basics of the print encyclopedias (location, volume labels, guide words, location of the beginning of the article) and the electronic encyclopedia (location of the computers, accessing the CD-ROM, use of the menu, locating and opening the article, and quitting). The library media specialist also explains to the students the guidelines for choosing a picture that will best illustrate their reports and will scan well. At this session or in the classroom, the teacher distributes the notetaking forms and explains how to use them.
-The teacher sends groups or pairs to work in the library media center for forty-five minutes. The library media specialist assigns each group to a resource. After twenty minutes, the groups change sources so that each works with both a print and an electronic encyclopedia. The students and library media specialist get quite involved in this step, so a timer is very helpful in making a timely and smooth transition to the second source. It is also helpful at this point to have a second person assisting the students if there are several groups working. The number of available and appropriate sources determines the number of groups working in the library media center at one time. Before each group of students leaves, the members locate and agree on a picture to use on their picture sheet. This is checked by the library media specialist. If a group feels it needs more research time, they tell the classroom teacher who sends them back during a clean-up time that is already scheduled with the library media specialist. The number of groups in the class determines the number of research sessions scheduled with the library media specialist.
-When all the research is completed, each group returns to the library media center to work with the library media specialist in scanning the chosen picture. The scanned image is placed in the upper right corner of the page, and the citing is added. It is then printed with the color printer so that each student gets a copy on which to write his or her final report. (the teacher may choose to make copies of these, in case the original is ruined or lost).
-As soon as a group finishes it's research, the classroom teacher works with each student as he or she begins to combine the facts into a paragraph about the assigned person. Each writes a sloppy copy, edits, and then writes the final paragraph on the picture sheet provided by the library media specialist.
-The classroom teacher may choose for the students to share these with the rest of the class. She may also choose to videotape the presentations.

Part #2
-The students visit the library media center and library media specialist to learn about the biography section. Some of the easier-to-read biographies are highlighted. Each student chooses a biography to read. The classroom teacher explains to the studends about reading the biography of their choice to learn about a famous person. She asks each student to dress up as the person and to share something about this person with the rest of the class. The classroom teacher notifies the students' parents of the possible need for assistance.
-The classroom teacher assists students as needed on Dress-Up Day. The presentations may be videotaped.
-Each student will locate and record information and then produce a written report of at least one paragraph about the assigned person.-Each student will read one biography book and then dress as and share information about a famous person of his or her choice.-Students may be videotaped and view the video for self-evaluation
School Library Media Activities Monthly February 1997; 13(6); 24-26
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Presented By: School Library Media Activities Monthly
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