Monday, September 2, 2013

Library Lesson: The Library's Shelf Elf

Library Orientation: The Library's Shelf Elf

By third grade, my students pretty much know how to care for their books and how to act in the library. However, I still review these skills so that each class knows ways they can earn the coveted Golden Shelf Elf Award. I will discuss more about my special trophy in a little bit. Here is the lesson I start out with before I discuss how to earn the trophy...

Recommended grade:  3rd grade

·   pictures of your family and things you like
·   video clip "The Elves and the Shoemaker" from VHS "Muppet Classic Theater" (we own the video, and I show the clip from You Tube since it is faster to access- I wish this video was sold in DVD format!)
·   book The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins
·   "magic scrolls" with Shelf Elf rules on them
·   Golden Shelf Elf award
The Shelf Elf

This school year I am going to use more technology tools! If I take this initiative, hopefully the teachers at my campus who are intimidated by new technologies will try after seeing their students' excitement...
  1. As the students come into the library and sit down, I am going to have them use a SMART Response remote to answer yes or no to following question: "Have you heard of the story The Elves and the Shoemaker?” We will then discuss the results.
  2. Briefly introduce myself and show the few things I mention about me on our SMART Board.
  3. Show the movie clip “The Elves and the Shoemaker” for students to understand the story (My favorite version is from The Muppets found on You Tube: “The Muppets- The Elves and the Shoemaker”).
  4. Tell students I am going to share a story of what happened next to the elves in the story. But first, I need 7 volunteers to read a magic scroll when the time is right. Pass out parts to volunteers. Read The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins. Call on volunteers to read their magic scroll throughout the story when prompted.
  5. Explain how students can win the Golden Shelf Elf Award to display in their classroom. Discuss how they can start right now as they go in search for a book.
    My coveted Golden Shelf Elf Award
Fun freebie:
Here are the bookmarks that I created to hand out to the students at the end of this lesson. If you would like a copy, click on the picture below. Enjoy!
Elf graphic from Scrappin Doodles


  1. Thank you for the great bookmarks! I plan to share them with my students this week!

    1. Love the bookmark idea! This is going to be my gift FROM Skoob when he leaves our library to go and help some other library in need. Thank you!

    2. Love the bookmark idea! This is going to be my gift FROM Skoob when he leaves our library to go and help some other library in need. Thank you!

  2. Thank you Theresa for your sweet comment! I hope your students enjoyed the bookmarks. :)

  3. Where did you find your elf award?? I love that! We do Adopt-a-shelf in my library, and it would be fun to use as the "Shelf of the Week" award.

  4. I found the elf/gnome at our local Garden Ridge store. If you do not have one nearby, I saw a TON of cute gnomes that I may snag as backups at Hobby Lobby recently. I spray painted my gnome and an old book gold, and glued the two together with super glue. Finally. I decorated the book with gold coins (painted overhead chips/manipulatives), black paper, and gold stickers). I hope you find the perfect Shelf Elf for you to use! :)

  5. By the way, thank you Jacqueline for your compliment! :)

  6. Love the book and the bookmarks. Our school is very anti-competition, but I like the idea of the golden shelf elf trophy. How do you award it?

  7. Thank you for the bookmarks! I love them and will use them this week!

  8. Thank you for the bookmarks...I will be using them soon with my students.

  9. Thank you Dyann and Elizabeth! Glad you could use them!

  10. So sorry Todd that I just saw this! I have my schedule of all my classes that come to library printed on a clipboard for me. When each class enters the library quietly, thy get a tally. They also get other tallies for things such as showing respect, everyone returning their books, all books were cared for, listening during lesson, using shelf markers, etc. At the end of the month, I see which class has the most tallies. This past month, the winning class cheered so loudly after being announced on the morning announcements, I could hear them throughout the school. It is so rewarding! :)

  11. I do a big poster outside my library with that theme. I ask that students come in/leave quietly, keep it quiet and clean up after themselves. I have a check list for each class from 2-6. I bought 2 shelf trophys from Demco from the book, and use the printables in the book too. I choose a winner each Friday. I keep track of each week and whoever gets the most all year gets a class treat. Its very competitive!!!