This page is designed to help you complete your homework assignments. The Children’s Room has many tools, from books and magazines to databases and the Internet, to help you:

  • improve your math skills (times tables, anyone?)
  • find great books for sustained silent reading at home and at school
  • learn the difference between parts of speech
  • help you write reports
  • increase your knowledge of a wide range of topics

There are resources in the library databases that can help you accomplish these goals, too. You will find them here. You can use these at home or at the library. Even if the library is closed (a Sunday, for example), you can still use library resources!

Research and Reports

Your teacher has assigned a project. You have a page of information you need to find as well as questions to answer. You need to write a report on what you have learned.

Where do you start?!!!

Don’t panic! There are lots of resources—books, magazines, databases, and the Internet—at the library.  Check to see which of these resources your teacher wants you to use so you’ll know what resources are acceptable.

Now to the meat of the matter: what do you need to know? Where will you find it?

Let’s say you are doing a penguin project.  Your special penguin is the rockhopper penguin. Does the library have any books on rockhopper penguins? Here’s how to find out.

First, search the library’s online catalog. Type in “rockhopper penguin” in the search box. No books are found.  Don’t worry, though; even if there isn’t a book on rockhopper penguins, there are probably books about penguins, and in some of those books there may be information about your penguin.

You will need to click on each title that sounds interesting, then read the description to see if it has the information you want.

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Here’s a book that sounds good.  It shows you a call number, which tells you where in the Children’s Room the book is shelved, and it also says the book is available.  There is no mention of rockhopper penguins in the title.  You will need to look further down the page to see if there is anything in the description.

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Oh, it says there is information about 13 penguin species (types)! Maybe the rockhopper is one of them. Since the description doesn’t say which species are included, you will have to visit the library and look in the index in the back of the book to see if “rockhopper” is listed. An index tells you what is inside the book in detail.  It can help you decide whether the book is the right one for your project.

Here is another book that might be good.  Is there a mention of rockhopper penguins in the description? Yes! You know that you will find information about your penguin in that book.

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Now that you have these books, you may want to add to this information by using the children’s databases, including Amazing Animals, Kids Infobits, and PebbleGo Animals. There are also websites you can visit for more information:

You’ll notice that Wikipedia is NOT on the list.  Since anyone can post to Wikipedia, you might find material that isn’t correct.  For example, if you know rockhoppers are penguins that live in a cold place, but someone changed something in Wikipedia to say that some penguins like the rockhopper can live in a tropical rainforest, you might want to include that in your report because you think it might be true. (Hint: it isn’t!) Use web sources you *know* you can trust.  Wikipedia can’t be trusted. Those listed above CAN be trusted.

Now you need to put your report together.  Write down the facts you have found in your research.  An easy way to do this is to use index cards.  Write ONE fact on each card.  Then you can shuffle them and put them in the order you want to write about.  This makes writing your report much easier, and also means that you can organize your facts in the order the teacher wants you to write about them.

Write a draft of your report. You can scratch out, change how you write sentences, change the order of your facts, and fine-tune everything. Once you have it organized the way you want, you can write or type your final copy.  Add photocopies or printouts of maps and pictures.

Hooray! You’re done!