Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
The Dewey Decimal System -- Cataloging Collections
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Students will categorize their private book collections as a precursor to learning the principles of the Dewey Decimal System. Students will use the Internet and online catalogs and visit their school and local libraries to gain a better understanding of the Dewey Decimal System. They will learn how to use it electronically to find specific books and research papers and book reports. Once students understand the Dewey Decimal System, they will find that doing research in a library is not an intimidating experience. Students will keep a journal throughout the process. At the conclusion of their research, students will work together and catalog their classroom library.

Grade Level: 6-8 (Can be manipulated to work for higher levels, focusing on effective research)

Subject Matter: math, technology, social studies, language arts

Curricular Uses: categorizing, research, library skills and technology, math, creative writing, and social studies

Learning Objectives


Students will be able to:
  •   use the Internet as a tool to aid in research;
  •   identify and explain the Dewey Decimal System;
  •   locate libraries on the Internet using the Dewey Decimal System;
  •   use the Dewey Decimal System to access information;
  •   catalogue their classroom library using Dewey Decimal System;
  •   create their own cataloguing system for their private collections.

    Use of the Internet: Students will use the Internet as a research tool for identifying, understanding, and completing practice exercises related to the Dewey Decimal System. Students should be encouraged to search beyond the suggested sites to find information on their own, developing a sense of inquiry, discovery, and a responsibility for enhancing their own learning. They will visit the suggested sites as a guide to additional understanding of the Dewey Decimal System.

    This lesson was developed by B.J. Johnson.