This snapshot provides resources that show how Information Literacy skills can be integrated into a multidisciplinary K-12 curriculum. It includes the following:
Digitization and the Internet have made tremendous amounts of information easily accessible, however, the quality and usefulness of information resources varies greatly. To make use of this information stream, it is imperative for students to understand how to locate reliable data, gauge its appropriateness, and use it effectively. For example, teachers can ask students to rate the objectivity of web resources covering a particular subject area, requiring students to think critically and comparatively about the quality of the information presented. School library and media literacy centers can play an integral role in supporting both student and teacher information literacy needs. Library media specialists also can facilitate information literacy activities and trainings for teachers of different subject areas as well as compile and disseminate promising lessons that incorporate information literacy skills.
S.O.S. for Information Literacy is a multimedia database that provides access to resources for teachers to use in teaching information literacy skills to students. Educators can search the database by grade level and keyword search for resources that include lesson plans, teaching ideas, classroom activities, and video clips. Lesson plans come with an outline of the lesson, goals, objective, and which national information literacy and content standards are addressed. Depending on the lesson, there may also be worksheets or visual attachments that can be downloaded for classroom implementation. Teachers can submit their own lesson plans and ideas for inclusion in the database.
In this video clip, made available by S.O.S Information Literacy, 4th grade students participate in an information literacy activity to research the rules of debate. The classroom teacher and library media specialist collaborate to plan and present a library lesson to introduce students to researching debate rules using a pre-selected website about Abraham Lincoln who they have been studying for social studies. By using the Lincoln-Douglas debates as an entryway into their research task, students begin to make the connections to their own debate topics. For their assignment, students work in groups and access information from both print and Internet resources to research rules of debating. The classroom teacher and library media specialist recommend a user-friendly Internet search engine for kids, and guide student groups throughout the research process.
Biblioteca Las Américas is a library located in Mercedes, Texas that has partnered with two schools in South Texas Independent School District (STISD). Both Bibliotecas Las Americas and the schools it serves in STISD share the goal of supporting students in developing proficiency in using information literacy skills to support lifelong learning. Through the partnership, Biblioteca Las Americas promotes information literacy through integrated library lessons and collaboration with staff and students. In addition to standard library services, Biblioteca Las Americas provides students with unlimited checkouts, extended service hours, interlibrary loan, broad database subscriptions, video editing labs, and checkout of laptops and other digital equipment. The library also supports a number of volunteer and tutoring programs focused on Information Literacy. For example, ¡VIVA! Peer Tutor Project is a local health awareness program that teaches students to help their peers and members of the community learn about how to locate reliable online health resources.
The Londonderry School District, in Londonderry, New Hampshire, has been working with school library media specialists to address school- and district-wide efforts to improve teaching and learning. As part of this effort, Londonderry media specialists and teachers participate in professional development that uses action research as a model for learning. Participants use action research to learn about different areas of information literacy instruction, how to integrate data or information collection methods within instructional practice, and how to analyze results and apply that information into improving their own practice. Under the guidance of a university level research mentor, participants explore information literacy questions, such as “How can we get high school students off the Internet and into subscription databases?” and “How can we teach middle school students to take better notes?” By using action research, Londonderry is trying to find ways to support students in developing inquiry, research, and knowledge construction skills to better prepare them for how they approach the ever-growing amount of information available to them.