Lesson Plan

Dewey Decimal Savenger Hunt Lesson

Students will use the Dewey Decimal System to locate books in the LMC.
Tracey W.
Media specialist/librarian
P.S. Is 54
Bronx, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Students will be able to deepen their understanding of the Dewey Decimal Systems and how the library is organized.  The students will use the DDC and nonfiction call numbers to locate books on a specific topic. 

English Language Learning
Grades 4 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring

The teacher and library media specialist will begin by reviewing the Dewey Decimal System, and how it helps us to locate books in the library.  The LMS will also review how the Dewey Guide is organized to show the areas of interest to elementary students. 

Student Instructions

Students will review the  ten major subject classifications and how a nonfiction call number looks. 

2 Direct & Guided

The LMS will review procedures and rules for the scavenger hunt. Students will work in teams to locate books that will help them investigate the topic on their scavenger hunt cards.  For example, if the card states , they will locate books in the area.

Student Instructions

Students choose a partner and draw a card with a topic description.Using the guide, the partners will discuss what area in which to begin their search. Once they have identified the Dewey Decimal Area, they will start  to look for books with matching call numbers. Students will use sheet as scavenger hunt to locate different nonfiction categories.


3 Independent & Assessment

The first group to successfully find books satisfying the information on five cards wins the scavenger hunt.  As a follow up, the LMS will have the students share their experiences and strategies for locating books. Was there any challenges? How did the Dewey Decimal System make locating books on specific topics easier than looking without a specific plan?

Student Instructions

Assessment:Informal assessment of teamwork, effort and knowledge gained/used through observation of pairs.  Also the number of items successfully located throughout the scavenger hunt.

Accommodations:Students with special needs can locate and identify materials on three cards.

4 Follow-up

Librarian will facilitate scaffolded learning while doing one on one conferences to informally assess learning.

Student Instructions

Students can practice putting books in the correct Dewey Category (to the 100’s) through a variety of online games and self guided quizzes.  There are also some materials for teachers to use when reviewing the Dewey Decimal System or for those that need additional support.