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Mapping the Library


Library Graphic




  • Arts & Humanities
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Sciences


Pre-K, K-2, 3-5

Brief Description

In this activity, students compare their school library with another library (or libraries) -- your town library, for example, or a virtual library -- and identify their most important features. Then students use their observations to create a map of the school library that can serve as a guide for others.


Students will

  • compare and contrast their school library with at least one other library,
  • identify the prominent features of the libraries and their functions,
  • create a map that illustrates the layout of the libraries, their features, and their functions.


library, map, virtual tour, Venn, compare, diagram, graphic organizer

Materials Needed

  • chart paper and marker (optional)
  • large paper and markers
  • Internet access (optional)

Lesson Plan

Begin this activity by asking students to describe the school library. What are its purposes? What can be found there? Invite the students to share what other libraries can be found in your community and how they differ from the school library.

For the next part of the lesson, ask students to compare your school library with at least one other library. You might visit your local public library or have students take a virtual tour of one of these libraries:

As students tour the library, have them determine whether your school's library has some of the same features as the library they are visiting.

Provide students with an appropriate Venn diagram or draw one on chart paper or the chalkboard. Label one of the diagram's circles with the name of your school library, and one (or more) with the name of the library(ies) you visited in person or virtually. Have students identify the features of the libraries, and write them on the chart. Have students tell you where to place the features:

  • Place them inside the "Your School Library" circle if they apply only to your school library.
  • Place them inside another circle (labeled "_____ Library") if they apply to that library, but not to your school library.
  • Place them in the middle section of the diagram (where two circles intersect) if they apply to both your school library and another library you visited.

When you have finished, ask students to name any other features of either library and add them to the diagram.

Now have students close their eyes and think about the layout of your school library. On a large sheet of paper, start a drawing of a map and give the students a point of reference such as the front door. Have the students give instructions as you draw and label each section of the library map. (More capable students might create individual or group maps.) When you have completed the map, on additional paper write a description of each part of the map as dictated by the students. Put the additional information on the map and display it.

Introduce this activity just before open house or another event at your school, and have parents use the student-created guide to navigate the library! Older students and accomplished writers can supplement the map with an entire handbook of information about the library.

Extension activity: Share Library Songs for fun with your class, and have the students write original songs about your school library. Or poke fun at books, reading, and the library with Library Jokes. Then put your young comedians to work on their own library humor!


This lesson is designed as a group activity that can be evaluated by the teacher through observation.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

Return to this week's Lesson Planning article, Lessons from the Library.


Originally published 04/12/2002
Links last updated 03/28/2008