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Garden City School Library: FICtion Call Numbers

Essential Question

How do fiction call numbers work?

Lesson 1 - Introduction

  • Prep: Before the students arrive, place 6 fiction titles on each desk, making sure that they all have call numbers using the current convention of FIC ABC.
  • Introduction: Remind the kids that the library collection is divided into sections, and each section has its own call number. Ask them to define "call number" and explain how they are created for the E section. Let them know that we're going to take a look at the fiction section; now that they're getting older and reading longer books, they need to know how to find titles on the shelf.
  • Group Activity: Have the students look at the books on their tables and see if they can figure out how fiction call numbers are created. Do some practice call numbers on the whiteboard (e.g., me, the principal, their classroom teacher). 
  • Assessment: Give each student a copy of the worksheet below; their assignment is to create the call numbers for seven books. When they are done, they bring the paper to you to review. If it's correct, they get a call number to find on the shelf (see attachment ... use authors who are prolific!). If it's not correct, they need to fix it. Common errors are using the first three letters of the first name or the author's initials. Anyone who doesn't get a chance to find a book on the shelf today can look for one next week.

    3 = worksheet all correct, book found

    2 = worksheet has mistakes that are make sense and corrected, book found

    1 = worksheet has mistakes that make no sense, book not found

Lesson 2: You Be the Author

  • Introduction: Remind the students that the FIC section of the library is organized in alphabetical order by author’s last name, using the first three letters of that last name. Hold up several books, read off the title and author, and ask the kids to figure out what the call number would be.
  • Activity: Explain to the kids that they will now create their own book cover. Their covers (template below) must contain three elements:

- Title (it must be fictional; it can't be factual)
- Their full name as author
- Their FIC call number on the spine

If they have time, they may draw an illustration.

When a student finishes their cover, give them their library card. NOTE: Any student who didn't find a book on the shelf last week must do so today.

  • Assessment:

4 = All three required elements appear, in addition to exceptional creativity

3 = All three required elements appear: fictional title, author's full name, and correct call number

2 = One required element missing

1 = Two or more required elements missing

Lesson 3 - RICAT Seaching 2

  • DAY BEFORE: Let classroom teacher know that the students can bring their devices to library the next day to access the catalog.
  • Review: Go over the concepts of call numbers and how the fiction section works. Then go over how to read a RICAT catalog entry.

  • Activity: Give each student a slip of paper with the title of an FIC book on it. (See attached.) They must write down the author, call number, publication date, and reading level; then find the book on the shelf and bring it to me to get their library card.
  • Assessment:

    4 = Student completes all tasks correctly AND successfully completes extra credit.

    3= Student completes slip correctly and finds the book.

    2= Student writes down correct information but does not find the book.

    1 = Student does not complete slip and never gets around to looking for a book.


Standards Addressed

AASL: 1.1.1 - Follow and inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects; 1.1.4 - Find, evaluate, and select appropriate resources; 1.1.8 - Demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry.

Common Core: RI.3.4 - Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area; RI.3.5 - Use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently; SL.3.3 - Ask and answer questions about infomation from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and details; Math Pratice 5: Use appropriate tools stragetically.