K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn the basics of the Dewey Decimal Classification system.
  • learn the major informational categories in each section.
  • easily locate resources in the library media center.
  • use creativity and writing skills, as well as their social skills, in a collaborative manner to develop a group’s commercial on a particular segment of Dewey.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

80 minutes


  • library media center
  • poster of Dewey Decimal System & main categories
  • flip chart (to write students’ ideas of what they might find in a particular section)
  • sheet of paper for them to write about their Dewey Assignment (with directions to work as a team to scan a section of Dewey in the library media center)
  • pencils
  • notebook paper
  • handout Sell me on Dewey!
  • observation rubric

Technology resources

video camera with tripod (optional)


Students will need a general knowledge of the physical layout of their school’s library media center.


  1. Students arrive in the library media center (LMC).
  2. Teacher/Library Media Specialist initiates discussion about finding books on specific topics. Students share how they find information about books in the school’s LMC.
  3. Teacher discusses impetus for the Dewey Decimal Classification system (DDC).
  4. Teacher displays chart regarding broad categories of DDC. Discussion ensues, with teacher inquiring what might be found in each section and writes notes on chart.
  5. Hand out attached document Sell me on Dewey!. Students are divided into groups of 3 to 4 (as many groups as you can given class size to match DDS categories. You may combine the 001-199 & the 200-299 in one group as those sections can be small.)
  6. Students are work together to divide up the shelves within their section and scan the types of information and books found in “their section.”
  7. They list this information and select a few books that typify their section.
  8. Students share this information with other members of their group.
  9. The group collaborates on writing a short, snappy commercial to deliver to the class about their section of Dewey. Their goal is to not only to “sell” this section of Dewey but also inform the audience about what can be found there, why they would want to use it, and how to find it.
  10. Students informally present their commercials to the class and the teacher, or videotape them for later viewing. To keep the lesson to 40 minutes you do not have to videotape the commercials.
  11. The students may need to have the additional time to work out group dynamics and to scan the shelves. They can use the additional time to work on their commercials and decide what “props” if any they want to use for the videotaping and the commercials.
  12. It is recommended this be a two-class session since the videotaped product would be useful at Library Media Center Orientation for grades 3-5.


Use this mini quiz to answer the following and/or use the Observation Rubric.

  1. What is the Dewey Decimal System?
  2. Why was it developed?
  3. List how the DDC is set up. Beside each numerical category list the types of information that can be found there.

Evaluations based on observation: Teacher may evaluate from observation during class time and end product the following:

  • how well the students worked together (social skills)
  • whether they met their objective to sell and inform their audience on their Dewey section in the finished commercial (creativity and writing skills)

Supplemental information


This lesson is a fun way to introduce dry but necessary subject matter to enable students to become independent seekers of information. It is a lively lesson and appeals to multiple learning styles. At the end you will have a product that you can use with other classes and in orientation.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.SI.1 Apply criteria to determine appropriate information resources for specific topics and purposes. 4.SI.1.1 Use various types of resources to gather information (including print and online media). 4.SI.1.2 Use relevant sources of information for an assigned...
      • Grade 5

        • 5.SI.1 Apply criteria to determine appropriate information resources for specific topics and purposes. 5.SI.1.1 Use various types of resources to gather information (including print and online media). 5.SI.1.2 Use relevant sources of information for an assigned...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Information Skills (2000)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will IDENTIFY and USE criteria for excellence to evaluate information and formats.
    • Objective 2.02: Apply identified criteria to select resources.
  • Goal 4: The learner will EXPLORE and USE research processes to meet information needs.
    • Objective 4.05: Gather information.
  • Goal 5: The learner will COMMUNICATE reading, listening, and viewing experiences.
    • Objective 5.02: Produce media in various formats (print, graphical, audio, video, multimedia) appropriate to audience and purpose.