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Information Literacy & Pedagogy Toolkit for Librarians

Sample Classroom Activities

Fishbowl: The classroom is divided into two groups or "circles:" the inner circle, or fishbowl, is a small group of students who discuss a topic and the outer circle are students who observe and comment on the process and content of the discussion. 

Jigsaw: Students are divided into groups, with each group accomplishing different but related tasks/assignments. Each group then contributes their work/knowledge to the class as a whole OR the class is then re-divided into mixed groups, where each person in the group them teaches the rest of the group what s/he knows. The students then work on a task/assignment that pulls all the pieces of knowledge together. 

Think-Pair-ShareStudents are given an open ended question/assignment. Individual students spend a few minutes thinking and writing a response/completing the activity. Students are then instructed to pair up and share their responses, modifying them based on discussion. The class is reconvened as a large group and students share their pair's responses. 

Minute PaperThis activity can be accomplished at the beginning or end of class. At the beginning of class each student is given a notecard or piece of paper and writes down one question they have related to the class topic. The instructor then reads the questions and addresses them during class. If done at the end of class, the students write down either one thing they've learned and/or one thing that is still unclear to them (aka "muddiest point").

Concept Mapping: Students create a visual brainstorm or mindmap of their research topic, pre-search strategy, or research. For examples see The Unquiet Librarian and Pegasus Librarian

Think-AloudDivide students into pairs or small groups and assign each group the same or similar tasks. Ask one student in each group to accomplish the task but narrate or "think-aloud" as they accomplish the task. Another student in each group is responsible for asking questions that help clarify the task.

Gallery WalkIn Gallery Walk student teams rotate to provide bulleted answers to questions posted on charts arranged around the classroom. After three to five minutes at a chart or "station" the team rotates to the next question. Gallery Walk works best with open ended questions, that is, when a problem, concept, issue, or debate can be analyzed from several different perspectives.


Additional Classroom Activities