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Subject:             Language Arts

Grade Level:      7th grade


This project begins in October and will take about 4-6 weeks to set up and then it will be ongoing for the rest of the school year. Students will collaborate with the Lemont Public Library and with other students from Lemont to create ways of improving and promoting student attendance at the Lemont Public Library. Students use e-mail, Internet resources, word processing and database programs to complete this project. They communicate with middle school aged students, librarians and authors of books to collected data about what kinds of books students like to read and need to have access to. Finally, the students submit the results to the library board at their February meeting.

Learner Description/Environment:
This project targets middle school 7th graders. Students will be grouped heterogeneously and work collaboratively in groups of 4 or 5. The students have access to small number of computers in their classrooms, a computer lab of 35 networked Internet accessible computers, and more 10 computers in the LRC.

Time Frame:
Students will work on the project 35 minutes a day, every day for 4-6 weeks.

Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

1) ask probing questions in an survey
2) use electronic means of gathering information and data from various sources
3) write for a specified audience
4) use available technology to produce works for specified audiences.
5) identify, evaluate and cite primary sources
6) take notes, organize and report information
7) will work cooperatively with other students from a different school
8) will collect, organize and evaluate data
9) will proofread and revise their work
) communicate using email

Structure of the Learning:


Authentic Student Task: Students from the town of Lemont will collaborate with the Lemont Public Library to create ways of improving and promoting student attendance.

Hook: Students receive a visit from Lemont's Public Library children's librarian. She tells students that the board of directors at the library has noticed a decline in student attendance at the library. They are wondering why. Is it because the library doesn't have the types of books students enjoy or need? Whom do they ask for help in figuring out this problem? The library's funding for children's books is in danger of being cut for lack of student interest. We need your help in making the library a place that students would like to use. We need your help in determining the kinds of books kids really like to read. I want to know what kinds of books appeal to kids your age.


Students will work in cooperative groups to:
devise a master plan for selecting books for the library and making the library more user friendly,
devise a plan to communicate the results of their findings,
devise a plan for collecting data,
proofread and edit information to be shared by all,
create a survey to acquire the necessary information needed to solve book selection problem and ways to make the library more inviting to students.

possible future selection of books by genre
ways to make the library more appealing


Students will produce a presentation to be given to the Lemont Public Library's board of directors. The presentation will offer the following recommendations:



Best Use of Technology:

Students will use available technology to publish results of their findings. They will communicate with other students using technology such as e-mail, survey's, online chat and possible video conferencing. They will explore on-line publishing resources. They will post their findings on the school districts web site. The Lemont Public Library will have link on their page to the district's page.


1)  Students will keep a daily journal about the progress of their projects and their observations while doing their research
2)  Student rubric for survey and information gathering
3)  Email invitations to students and librarians
4)  Completing web page template for book review
5)  Student's writing will be assessed by comparing the first writing assignment to subsequent assignments
6)  Student self evaluation to be submitted in the form of a summary page listing three personal insights which as a result of doing this project
7)  Student/Teacher rubric for presentation for library board
8)  Students will design self-assessments and use a teacher-designed rubric for rating the effectiveness of group presentations
9)  Teacher will assess weekly cooperation and group interaction.

Project Evaluation:

All students will be required to complete a project evaluation that will ask them to evaluate and rate the various activities of the project.  The children's librarian and library's board of directors will be asked to evaluate whether or not the information provided by the students will help them in improving and promoting student attendance at the library.

Alignment with Standards:

Go to Outcomes Page

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): Ronda Larson-Dranter (rlarson-dranter@oakwood.s-cook.k12.il.us) Mary A. Warren (mwarren@enc.k12.il.us)
School: Old Quarry Middle School, Lemont, IL (http://www.sd113.s-cook.k12.il.us/oq/oqindex.html)
Created: February 21, 2001 - Updated: March 14, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/library/presentation.html