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Shelving or Finding Books

Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups


Kimberli Burbank


This activity will help students learn how to shelve or find books in the library.



Instructional Procedures

Instructional Procedure

The first step is to photocopy the book illustrations attached in various colors. You can add new titles with call numbers and then laminate them to use in a number of ways. Here are some possibilities:

  1. Without looking at titles, shuffle books and pass out so each student has one. Have the students stand up in a line and get in the order that the titles would appear on our shelves. (This could be done with a timer so it could be a game and encourage them to think more quickly.)
  2. Repeat #1 but have students physically move to the correct shelf where the book would be shelved if it were available.
  3. Group students into small groups of 4 or 5. Pass out an assortment of books per table or group (could be many more than one per person). Keep books facing down until teacher-librarian says to begin. Have a competition between tables to see which one can put them in the correct order the quickest.
  4. Use the set to instruct aides on how to shelve books. If there were a couple of confusing titles, these could easily be added into the existing set.
  5. Use the set to test aides to make sure they understand expectations of shelving properly and how the center is organized.
  6. Use the set to teach how call number is set up, i.e.:




    or whatever is decided on.

  7. Use the set to teach various genres. For example, put a colored label over the call numbers to make it easier for the students to pick out historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, Spanish translations, etc.

    It is easy to make it the set of titles harder or easier for the appropriate age group and to add existing titles when the need arises.

Created: 08/08/2008
Updated: 02/04/2018