Curriculum Resources

The pages in this section are for classroom teachers to use with their students. On these pages, I have organized curriculum related resources by grade. You will find links to relevant websites, research databases appropriate for each grade, and the library catalog. Teachers, please email me with requests for additional content ideas:


Here is some information to help you use the databases:

Search Tips

1. Brainstorm keywords (a keyword is a word that describes your topic) and synonyms for your keywords
2. Use AND to separate keywords: Grand Canyon AND formed
3. Use NOT to eliminate ideas from the results: Grand Canyon NOT camping
4. Use * (asterisk) to search all word endings: river* returns articles that use the word river, rivers
5. Use quotation marks around phrases “grand canyon”

Frequently Asked Questions about Databases

1. What is a database? A database is a searchable collection of articles from published magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias & other reference books, reports, and research articles.
2. When to use a database? Use a database when you need reliable information for a school project.
3. Can I use the databases to find pictures? Absolutely!
4. Can I use the databases to find information for a science or social studies project? Yes!
5. Does it cost anything to use the databases? No! The databases are free for you to use thanks to the generosity of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners!
6. How do I cite articles and pictures that I use from the databases? I am so glad you are thinking about giving credit to the author and photographer for their work. Each database has citation tools built right in. If you click on citation (or cite this) on a given article or image, you will see the proper way to cite that item.
7. How do I search the databases? Great question. I am glad you asked. Come up with a list of keywords about your topic. Use the keywords to search. Do not enter complete sentences. Separate keywords using AND. For example, if you want to find information about how the grand canyon was formed, your keywords will include: grand canyon, formed. Your search string should look like this: grand canyon AND formed.
It is always a good idea to brainstorm other words to use in case you cannot find exactly what you are looking for. Other words for formed, for example, include created, originated, or developed.

Here is some information to help you use the library catalog to find grade appropriate and kid-friendly websites:

Did you know that you can use the library catalog to search for kid-friendly and grade appropriate websites?

The library can help with your searches!

Enter a keyword (or author or title) and press return/enter on your keyboard. Be sure to write down the call number and take note of whether the book is currently available for check out (look to the right, if you see 1/1 copies available, the book is on the shelf; if you see 0/1 copies available, the book is currently checked out).

The library catalog is where you would turn to look for books owned by the school library but the library catalog also includes a safe way to search for grade appropriate websites.


  1. Go to your school website: Clarke Elementary School,Stanley Elementary SchoolHadley Elementary School
  2. Choose Library from the Resources for Students menu.
  3. Or go directly to the Elementary School Library website
  4. Once on the library website choose scroll until you see Library Catalog. Click the blue Follett Destiny button.
  5. To use the library catalog to find safe websites enter search words in space provided and click magnifying glass to run search. Simple searches, one or two words, are best in library catalog.

Search Window

Some search words that might be appropriate for your student’s topic:

Canada and landmark

Canada and customs

Canada and traditions

Canada and culture

Canada and flag (or Canadian flag)

Canada and map

6. The default screen shows books available. In my example, Canadian Flag, there are not any books in the library about the Canadian flag, but there are websites. To see websites look on the right side of the screen and click the tab that says ‘Web Sites.’

search results

7. You will see the title of the site in blue, a brief description of the site beneath the title, and the URL beneath the description. On the right side of the screen there is a grade range. Look for material appropriate for K-2 or 3-5. Click the title or URL of the site to view the full site.

web results

8. Use a + sign in front of words that have to be in your results

9. Use a – sign in front of words that you do not want in your results


Please feel free to email me, Mia Morgan, librarian, with questions.


Happy Searching!