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The World Is Wild About Harry Potter

Project URL:

How it works:
The World Is Wild about Harry Potter allows students to access online catalogs in a number of libraries. They practice searching for information in a variety of OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) formats. Most students enjoy reading J. K. Rowlings' Harry Potter books. In this project, students will search for these books in the online catalogs of academic and public libraries throughout the world. They are excited to discover that colleges and universities also carry copies of Harry Potter books, and that there are translations of these books in various languages.

Standards addressed:  
Students access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies and use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which they live. The student who is information-literate accesses that information efficiently and effectively.

Materials used: 
Students will need access to a computer with Internet capability and word processing software to complete the assignment. Computer lab times will need to be arranged. A world map should be available to enhance discussions about the libraries that are visited.

The students:
The World Is Wild About Harry Potter is designed for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade library-information science; it also involves social studies to a lesser extent.  Prior to the beginning of the lesson, students will need to know how to conduct a basic title/author/keyword search on the school library catalog. They will also need to recognize call numbers and should be familiar with basic classification systems.

Overall value:
The ability to access information using online public access catalogs is important for all levels of student research. This exercise enhances the student's skill level at working through a variety of catalog styles.

Student reading interests vary from year to year, so you may want to substitute another popular book for students to research.

About the teacher:
Mike Frerichs has worked as a library media specialist for five years in the Clarkstown Central School District.  He particularly enjoys information science projects that apply technological and research skills that are relevant to the interests of students. He received his MLS from SUNY Albany. Prior to becoming a library media specialist, he worked as an attorney for 19 years. 


Subject Areas: 
Language Arts
Library/Media Arts

Grade Levels: 3-5



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