Grade 5 Exhibition and the Library

Grade 5 has just wrapped up their Exhibition, which took place in the library and the music rooms last week.  Their exhibits demonstrated skills and passions that have been years in the making.  Below, a few scenes from the library, as well as just some of the skills that were demonstrated in the Final X, and which have been connected to library instruction throughout our students’ time in Elementary school.

First, the library had to be emptied out.
The Final X groups moved their boards and installations in, and set up their interactive exhibits on Wednesday.
They were ready for visitors on Thursday morning.
The fun starts.
Visiting schools being introduced to the Vertical Garden.
This group had contests, surveys, sign-up sheets, a written report, information to hand out and demonstrations.

The Exhibition requires research, leading to social or environmental action. Among the many, many skills on display, these have connections to past library sessions —

  • identifying a focus for research
  • reading for information
  • using deep and shallow questions
  • interviewing for information
  • organizing information into groups
  • using online resources
  • assessing the reliability of online resources
  • primary and secondary sources
  • plagiarism and fair use
  • citing
  • evaluating current events for timeliness
  • verifying information
  • using more than one type of source
  • fact vs. opinion
  • using diagrams
  • information from pictures
  • taking notes and paraphrasing

By the time IST students have reached Grade 5, they are familiar enough with these research skills to use them independently, as part of their Exhibition process.   We in the library are so proud of the children’s projects, where inquiry + passion has led to action.

gr 5 research poster
A grade 5 flowchart, showing ‘How We Research’, done before the Exhibition.







Baker Book Fair – orders due by May 1!

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Read on for a chance to order books from the UK, to arrive at IST before the end of school.

Baker Books International School Book Club offers books for readers from ages 3-16, to schools in 100 countries. Prices are in USD and shopping and paying is available online, via this secure website. You can shop by age-based catalog or book category. The Funfare catalog is for younger children (3-9), and the Book Zone catalog is for older children (9-16).  Once on the Baker Book website, please put in your child’s name and find their class in the drop-down menu to the right.

A small number of paper catalogs will be distributed to each Elementary class.  Please ask your child’s teacher or a librarian for one, if you prefer a paper catalog.  Price-lists in Tsh are also available in the library, and cash payments can be made in the library. Please bring exact change.

The books should arrive by the end of school, just in time for the June break!  We are allowing a longer shipping period than we did with the December order.  The library receives a 20% commission, in books. These are new and updated titles since the last orders.

Happy Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 3.20.19 PM shopping!

Grade 3 looks at news

Grade 3 students are inquiring into water as a finite resource,  and finding current information has become important to understanding what’s happening in Dar es Salaam and the world.

Classes came to the library last week to think about what it means for newspaper and magazine articles to be current and to look at online resources for news.


They used links from the IST Destiny homepage.

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Once students found an article they were interested in, they were asked to find the date and bring it back to the whole group.


Together again, we could talk about whether or not the pages had dates.  We looked at varied formats for the dates we found.


Some pages weren’t dated at all – and Grade 3 students realized that thinking about when an article was published is part of assessing whether or not it’s a good source for news.

Grade 2 hunts for new books

Ms. Ashleigh’s Grade 2s** came to the library a week ago to find out how to look for new books independently. They started with a hunt, using index cards labeled with Fiction Call Numbers.

Successful hunters came back with a book that matched their index card.

Most grade 2s quickly found the shelf and book that matched.  Ms. Karen then talked about using Destiny Quest to look for new books, and searching for books of interest, outside the students’ usual habits.

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Today, during 2B’s independent checkout time, these same students searched Destiny …


Copied a call number …


Searched the shelves …


Tried the book …


And then checked out.  All on their own.  Great hunting!!

** Ditto Ms. Alefiyah’s, Ms. Lisa’s and Ms. Louise’s classes.

Grade 1 Maps the Library

Grade 1 students are just beginning a unit on how maps help us get information in relation to people, places and time.  As part of that inquiry, students are looking into the types, features and perspective of maps, and how they connect us to the rest of the world.

Ms. Jillian’s class was given birds-eye view maps of the library, and moved around to mark the map as they found library signs labelling the different collections.

Microsoft Word - library map lesson.docx


The children oriented themselves next to something they’d already found on the map, and looked at the number and color of shelves and tables around them to decide whether or not the map matched.


Each grade 1 class will have two library mapping sessions, using symbols, keys, orientation and perspective to discover how the library works.



Visiting Author Presentation for Dads, and Books for Sale

John Coy, the author of 14 books, will be with the IST Elementary and Secondary community for a full week in February 2016, from the 1st to the 5th. He visits Elementary from Wednesday-Friday.  John has written picture books and chapter books, often featuring sports as a theme.

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John regularly offers sessions to fathers, on how important dads are in helping their boys and girls develop a love of reading.  He’s offering this session to Elementary and Secondary dads, from 7:20-8:10 Thursday Feb. 4, in the Elementary library.  Please join us for treats and talk.

Find more about John and his books on his website.  Books are on sale in the Elementary library, from Wednesday – Friday, Feb. 3 – Feb. 5.  Please drop in for prices (exact change appreciated!).   There is a book-signing session from 11-11:40, on Friday Feb. 5, also in the library.