Year 9 Biologists visited the Library to assess the pros and cons of the resources available to them. This was initiated after an email I sent to staff inviting them to bring their classes to the Library to see and make use of resources, as use of books and journals was no longer something that came naturally to pupils, they normally go straight to the Internet.
This took very little preparation on the part of the Librarian and could easily be done with very short notice. The teacher designed a brief sheet asking pupils to choose a book/magazine to look at but they were also invited to look at the internet as well if they wanted to. I opened the session with a quick recap on how to use the LMS and asked them to think of keywords that were going to help them find relevant resources (to Wonder) but the main part of the session related to Investigation – knowing what scholarly resources were available and how to use them and Reflection – evaluating the sources allowed them to reflect on how choice of source affected the learning process.
The outcome for pupils – instead of us librarians preaching to them about which source to use, the ball was thrown into their court – pupils decided through discussion with each other which resource was best for them and this was an eye opener for some of them who had initially dismissed the use of books as a useful resource. They recorded this information on their sheet.
The outcome for the teacher – an enhanced awareness of what resources were in the Library and the way that pupils could use them for independent learning. More classes will come over to do the same exercise and more prep will be set asking pupils to use a variety of resources.
It was a quick win lesson that promoted use of library resources to pupil and teacher, encouraged pupils to think about the merits of different resources and improved skills for Inquiry learning. It could be made more complicated, but a good one for busy teachers (and Librarians!) that can be done at a moments notice.
Hi Claire, thank you for sharing this! I am responsible for running the Great School Library website and I am looking for people to write blogs about school libraries role in inquiry learning. Would you be ok for me to copy what you have written above in order to post it on the GSL blog? I want to give a balanced view of school libraries role in reading for pleasure AND inquiry learning and currently what I am receiving is very much one-sided.
If anyone else is reading this and wants to write something then please get in touch [email protected]