Library Lesson Plans
How to Make the Most of Your Resources
If you are lucky enough to have access to a
library for your students, you may want to create some library lesson
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Here are some suggestions of things you can do in the library with
students of different ages and levels.
Plan 1: joining a library and finding information
If the library you are using is a public library then people need to
become members of the library to borrow books. This is often the case
with college libraries too.
Here is a suggested lesson plan outline for more basic learners to help
them join a library and find information.
Stage 1: introduction
Introduce the subject by asking your students to speak together about
, or about where they find information about something (they will
probably say the internet!)
When they have had an opportunity to speak together in English,
introduce the word "library" and make sure they understand the
difference between a library and a bookshop.
It is also important to make sure they understand
the verbs "lend" and "borrow,"
as some languages have only
one word with these two meanings.
Ask the students what they know about libraries. It is good to put them
into groups or pairs for this, as this maximizes their time spent
producing the English language.
If their vocabulary
is weak, then you can prepare a word and definition
matching activity for them.
Stage 2: a library visit
If any forms of ID are needed to join your library, it's a good idea to
have asked the students to bring the ID into your lesson so they can
It is also helpful with basic level students to have an example of an
enrollment form, and make sure they understand what to write in each
Take your students to visit the library, making sure you observe any
health and safety regulations your school or college may have for
taking students outside the classroom.
It is also important to inform the library you will be visiting, and to
get permission from the library staff, if necessary.
Pre-prepare a questionnaire for your students. Examples of questions
- How many books can you borrow?
- How long can you keep them?
- Do you have to pay anything?
- What else can you do in the library?
- Where is the
- Where can you find a book by Agatha
Christie (or another author)?
Leave your students time to walk around the library, and make sure you
point out any important things you want them to know about.
Help any students who want to join the library to complete the form and
get a library card.
Try to ensure your students choose books to borrow.
Stage 3: feedback
When you return to the classroom, ask your students to share
interesting things they discovered, and ask them to talk about the
books they borrowed. You could also ask them to write a paragraph about
Plan 2: researching a project
Students are so used to using the internet to find information now that
many of them don't know how to use a library.
It can be a very useful exercise to use the library as part of research
for a project.
If you do this with younger students it is important to make sure they
are supervised at all times when they are in the library.
If you do this, it is a good idea to give them a project outline
including helpful steps to guide them.
- What genre/type of book will you need for this
- Where are these books in the library?
- Find three books on this subject and check in
the index to find out if the books contain the information you are
- Make some notes from the books. (It may be
useful to explain the skills involved in note-taking, and stress that
they shouldn't copy the exact words from the book.)
- Write a paragraph or an essay including this
- (Alternatively) Give a presentation including
the information you have found.
This kind of activity is great for developing study skills, and can be
incorporated into a series of lessons on study skills, note-taking,
essay planning and writing
, or even on giving presentations.
Why use the library
Libraries are a great way to vary your lessons, to involve your
students in their community, and library lesson plans are also a great
way to encourage students to read more and develop their study skills.