GED Resources


 Using the Public Library
Margaret Larson

Student characteristics and level: Low Intermediate to Low High ESL students in day program (Best Plus score 2 or better).

A.  Instructional Goals/Teacher Goals: Students will be able to access and use a public library’s various resources.

B. Student Objectives – Outcomes: They will demonstrate how to locate a library in their town, list the scope of what libraries offer, show how to check-out material and knowledge of what a due-date is, who to speak with if confusion/questions arise, recognize, identify and calculate late fees. Also, if the internet is available, how to access same.

a. Locate the public library.
b. List what resources the library provides.
c. Communicate personal needs to library staff.
d. Complete the necessary form for a library card and understand what types of personal identification is needed.
e. Demonstrate skill of using a computer to access internet.

C: Rationale - Public libraries offer an array of free services from internet access, movie rentals, “story hour” for children and of course, access to a large source of reading material in many languages. Libraries also may provide contacts/information with what other community services are available through the information board.  Any resident would benefit recognizing and making a connection with their library to take advantage of the services.

D. Content and Material, Activities: Academic Skills Integrated onto the lesson:

  • Group discussion using props such as the brochure from the library and actual library books that show the page where the due date is reflected. (Reading, Vocabulary, Speaking)
  • Overview and demonstration on the class computer showing how to access the internet and experiencing Trinidad’s library using it’s webpage, (Listening, Technology, Reading)
  • Cross Roads and/or various other text books that offer exercises promoting recall of the information covered. (Reading, Writing)
  • Personal journals that would reflect questions posed to them during the course of the class and their answers to be shared during class time. (Writing, Speaking)

E. Instructional procedures:

  • Make a list answering such questions as ”Do you like to go to your public library? Where is it located? What is available there for you to do?”
  • Review a brochure about the services a library may have available and experience looking at an actual library book.
  • Discuss questions in a group setting regarding any vocabulary or ideas a student may not understand from the brochure.
  • Answer true or false statements regarding the information the students discussed and read about the library.
  • If the questions are false, discuss in the same group what would make the statement true.
  • Compare library services to what they may have in their native countries.
  • Create a mock situation for the class, wherein they set up a conversation between a student and a “librarian”. Several questions can be posed, including walking through the procedure of checking out a book. They then must calculate what over-due fines would apply if their book was late given various due dates and when the book was actually returned.
  • Each student takes turns accessing a library website using the class computers.

F. Learning Assessments:

  • Each step of the instructional procedure will be followed up by a question and answer period to evaluate each student’s foundation of proficiency.
  •  A quiz will be given and certain skills (library card form, calculating over due material, some general questions about the library) will be assessed in written form.
  • As each student progresses, their skills and level of knowledge will be checked off in their binder. Pairing students with a comfortable awareness of the material with those that are struggling to discuss difficult ideas and concepts should help assist those students who are burdened with both the discussion format and written material. 

G. Group activities:

  • Sharing experiences and what they already know about libraries.
  • Reading and answering questions together.
  • Creating lists singularly and then sharing their ideas and thoughts together.
  • Creating games/mock situations that cover important context.

H. Alternative Plans (Plan B)

Depending on what the students learning ability is, these exercises can be altered.

Taking a field trip to the library and showing the students where the library is located, introducing them to the head librarian and participating in a guided tour highlighting the areas discussed in the class: forms, resource material, information board, and computer area and log-on procedures.

I. Considerations of Cultures: 

I didn’t add any particular considerations for a culture that may or may not adhere or understand the lesson. I think because this plan is so straightforward, you could adapt particular changes if need be dependent on where the student has come from.



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CDE Adult Education and Family Literacy, Center for At-Risk Education (CARE)