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- Sherri L., Teacher
- Watkinsville, GA
Reference Materials Teacher Resources
Find Reference Materials educational ideas and activities
A class discussion on reference materials opens up a instructional activity on how to use these important resources. They discover that dictionaries, glossaries, and thesauruses are called word reference resources, and they practice using them. The class is divided up into three groups. Each one is assigned a different resource, and they complete a worksheet, embedded in the plan. It has them answer questions about the specific use of each resource. The worksheet is in a graphic organizer format and is quite good. Each group reports out to the class and shares their findings.
Finding engaging ways to help your middle schoolers build their vocabulary is not easy to do. The instructional activity presented here offers a great way to motivate them to build vocabulary by making it into a game. Teams of pupils use a dictionary and vocabulary scavenger hunt worksheets, embedded in the plan, to work on adding unfamiliar words to their repertoire. Along with finding the definition for each word, they must come up its part of speech, find a synonym for it, list its language of derivation, and use it in a sentence. Now, that is how a person really learns a word!
After a class discussion where kids share how they find answers to their questions, learners explore the world of reference materials such as, an atlas, an almanac, and an encyclopedia. The Internet is also discussed as a way to access many reference materials quickly. Pupils work as partners and use multiple resources to complete a scavenger hunt in which they must answer 15 questions. Learners keep track of the reference source they used to answer each of the questions, and they discuss the ones they thought were the easiest to use. A terrific worksheet is embedded in the plan, which will make this lesson easy to implement.
Students examine the Civil Rights movement and use mapping as a reading to learn strategy. In this Jim Crow Laws lesson, students read material regarding the civil rights movement. Students explore reference materials to gather relevant information. Students discuss the term "Jim Crow" and write a paragraph about why they think the term is insulting to blacks.
Fifth graders examine historical reference material to understand the life an times of Medieval Europe in terms of the feudal system and religious persecution. They gain the understanding of why, some English gave up everything to come to the new land for religious freedom.
Eighth graders complete Internet and traditional research to develop a research report published on a student web site. In this research lesson plan, 8th graders select a topic from Australia and visit the given websites to research the topic. Students also research the topic using traditional reference materials and write a rough draft. Students peer edit their papers and create final drafts published on their web site.
3rd graders will learn how to use four types of reference materials (Atlas, Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus). Each slide includes the purpose for using that specific reference. There are challenge questions included that give mock situations where students must decide what correct reference material they would use.
Here is a fabulous lesson around the theme of family histories. The Heritage Day project is outlined here for you. It is a chance for learners to share and celebrate their background and heritage with their classmates. There are terrific worksheets embedded in the plan, and the activities suggested are wonderful. This would be a fine lesson to get into with your class, and it should be a hit with the parents as well!
Poetry is a wonderful way to explore language, express topical understanding, and incite creative thinking. After a trip to the local natural history museum (or zoo), learners write an acrostic or a cinquain poem describing one of their favorite African animals. This would be a great opportunity to incorporate a research-based art project as well. Tip: If you don't have access to a museum or zoo, take the class on a virtual tour of a museum instead.
How many oceans can you name? First, have learners try to name as many oceans as they can, and then have them locate and identify the oceans on a world map. They create a recognizable ocean animal using poster board and tissue paper. They create a large ocean mural of underwater mountains and plants. To integrate writing in the plan, they write a poem using sensory details about their ocean animal and write a comprehensive report.
Have your young scientists explore a single element of the water cycle and write a report to explain findings. Your class can take their writing through all the steps of the writing process and publish it using a Web-based multimedia program called SiteMaker. This lesson integrates technology, science, and the writing process. If you do not have access to SiteMaker, there are other ways to present the information.
High schoolers practice in analyzing spatial data in maps and graphic presentations while studying the distribution of fossil fuel resources. They study, analyze, and map the distribution of fossil fuels on blank maps. Students discuss gas cost and the increase of gas cost.
Gather around to play a game! Middle and high schoolers answer questions (provided here) using various reference materials. Bring encyclopedias and other reference materials to class, as each group has limited Internet access! An answer key is provided for the questions given, but you could also tailor questions to a unit you studied or might be studying in the near future.