Whenever I help a school librarian determine what books should be culled from a collection, the biography selection usually takes a large hit. When a book is written after a person passes away (Daniel Boone, George Washington Carver, Ronald Reagan, etc.), the content is still relevant. Popular books featuring teen idols, celebrities and athletes encourage students to check out a book to learn more but the shelf life for these books is limited because idols and celebrities change in appearance and careers, and athletes get traded and eventually retire. Now that webpages and social media can easily be accessed to find the latest news, biography sections have become reduced in size. When a teacher’s objective is to have students learn about an individual’s achievements and contributions to society, WorldBook offers a great alternative to print books and the Internet.
Free to all CA BOCES component school districts, WorldBook is easily accessed through the school library website or resources.caboces.org. Using the generic username and password for the school (check with your school librarian or Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org if you don’t know it), students can search biographies by Nationality/Ethnicity, Area of Work/Interest, Gender, or Time Period. For students with IEPs, text size may be increased and voice choices for reading the article aloud are options. Build vocabulary skills by double-clicking any word to have it defined. For ELLs, the text may be translated too. Students will find the interface easy to use and images may be printed for projects.
Teachers wishing to introduce students to research will appreciate WorldBooks’s How To Do Research guide which includes an introduction to research skills, planning research, conducting research, evaluating resources, organizing data, and presenting a project. Citations for articles are provided for WorldBook articles but a citation builder is included to help students cite work from other resources. If you are looking for articles that connect to curriculum standards, the tab is easy to locate. With this being the month of March, type in St. Patrick to learn about his writings and popular legends associated with him.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
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