Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book Club to Meet October 25!

Just in time for Halloween, our book club will hold its October meeting on October 25th after school in the library.  This month we will be discussing and sharing the best in Paranormal fiction.  This genre covers anything outside the realm of what can be explained through science, including ghosts, aliens, and cryptids, like werewolves or the Loch Ness monster.   If you are interested in the this genre, or have a book to share with the group, please join us!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picturing America On Screen

Picturing America is an initiative from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring great American works of art into the classroom.  In 2009 the HHS Library received a grant to bring 40 great works of art to our school.  These are displayed in the lobby of our building.  If you would like to use these with your class to help introduce a concept or inspire a creative assignment, please contact us and we can work with you.  Recently, the NEH funded a documentary film project produced by Channel 13, WNET, New York.  These short films introduce the great works of art and also give a cultural and historical perspective on the importance of the work for American history.  Follow the link to view these films:


We also have a book of lesson plans to accompany the artwork Please contact us if you are interested in using these in your classroom!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Evaluating Websites: A Necessary Skill

Yesterday we hosted the Pre-AP ninth grade English classes in the library for a lesson and activity on the importance of evaluating websites before they are used in a research assignment.  Students must ask themselves questions like: Who is the author? What is the purpose of the site?  Can I verify the information?  Do the ads on the site detract from the information? 

And, believe it or not, students learned that there are other search engines besides Google and Bing!  We used Metacrawler, a search engine that searches Google, Bing, and Yahoo at the same time, to analyze their search results and SweetSearch, a search engine that only searches sites verified by research experts.  We also compared information found on the Internet with the information found in the Alabama Virtual Library.  Students were able to then find a website on their own and evaluate it to see if it would work for their research assignment about The Great Depression.

When you assign a research assignment, you should give students some guidance on what sites to use and how to evaluate the sites they find.  If you would like some assistance in this process please let us know!   By teaching students how to search efficiently, we can ensure that they are ready for the 21st century!