Back-to-School & Library Games

Complete PYP Lesson Plan List

Back to School #1: Making a Browser Card

Lesson Overview: Browser cards are the key to students working independently and responsibly in the library throughout the year.  Be sure to teach this Browser Card lesson before beginning circulation.  Making browser cards will also buy you a week of start-up time, during which you can collect summer borrowing materials,… Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #2: Library Treasure Hunt

Lesson Overview: Most school libraries change from year to year.  And, most students do not take time to look carefully at the complexity of the learning spaces around them.  In this Treasure Hunt challenge, get your kids moving and looking carefully at the library.  They will explore, make notes, and… Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #3: Little Betty’s Backpack (Book Care)

Lesson Overview: This is a heavily disguised lesson on book care.  I teach it every year to every grade level simply because young children are so hard on print materials!  To make it more appealing, I’ve worked to make the lesson tactile and, in places, silly.  I find that even… Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #4: Five Finger Rule for Choosing Just Right Books

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students learn how to choose “just right” books.  Many kids are easily swayed by what they see on TV, what their older siblings are reading, or what their classmates are choosing.  Children need to be prepared to make the right choices for themselves according to… Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #5: The Fortune Tellers, by Lloyd Alexander and Trina Schardt Hyman

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students think about what the new school year will bring.  Do events happen to them, or do they control their own fates?  Can any of us really see the future?  This is the first challenging piece of literature I use with new Grade 4 students. … Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #6: A Fine, Fine School, by Sharon Creech

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students think about what can be learned in school and what cannot be learned in school.  As students return from the summer holidays, it is good to reflect on all that was learned and experienced over the summer and the reasons for returning to school. … Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Back to School #7: That Book Woman, by Heather Henson and David Small

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students reflect on the importance of access to reading materials.  Using Heather Henson’s tribute to pack-horse librarians, the lesson helps children remember how fortunate they are to have a school or public library. Lesson Plan: Suggested Grades: 3-5 Objective: To understand the importance of access… Read more

John Tracy Cunningham

Library Games #1: Free Rice!

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students will learn how to play games on Free Rice, the web site that is owned by and supports the United Nations World Food Programme.  On Free Rice, students learn vocabulary, flags of the world, chemistry, anatomy, maths, and much more!  Each time a question… Read more

Betty Turpin

Library Games #2: Library Basketball

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students will review some of the highlights of their year in the library.  They will record their ideas on small slips of paper, scrunch the paper into small “basketballs,” then shoot the hoop!  I usually play “Boys vs. Girls” to wrap-up the year with thoughtful… Read more

Betty Turpin

Library Games #3: GeoGuesser: Where in the World?

Lesson Overview: In this game, students try to locate places, landmarks, or even stadiums all over the world.  If students do not have experience in world travel, they can focus on a specific country (Brazil, USA) or even city (London, New York City).  Use this lesson after the atlas lesson… Read more

Betty Turpin