Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sunday September 25th, 2011 Databases for Young Researchers

Crisp sunny Fall mornings are upon us, school has started and children everywhere are settling into new grades at school, renewing last year’s friendships and making new ones. Projects and missions of discovery on engaging and intriguing subjects are a big part of the new school year. Why not take a trip to the library and sign your children up for library cards, assuming they don’t already have them. Then with card in hand, in a matter of minutes you can sit down at the computer together and discover the wonderful world of Kids’ databases available through the Thunder Bay Public Library. Complementing the technology are knowledgeable library staff always willing to offer guidance with any questions you may have.

To access the databases described below, visit our Web site, click on "Research" and log in to My Giant Search. You will need your Library Card number and PIN.

Kids InfoBits is a multi-source database designed for elementary school students. It provides research support for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Jam-packed with eye popping graphs, charts, maps and more than 3,000 searchable images, InfoBits features a visual graphic interface, a subject-based topic tree search and full-text, age-appropriate, magazine and reference content.

But don’t stop there. TBPL has many other kid-friendly databases worth exploring. Do you have a favourite song you like to sing with your children but some of the words escape you? The Children’s Song Index lists sources for recordings of children’s songs from the TBPL music collection. Searching is made easy by entering album, artist, track title or genre.

Discovering Collection provides homework help for core school curriculum areas of literature, history, science and social studies. This is geared primarily towards Intermediate students.

NoveList K-8 appeals to all levels of readers but is designed especially for elementary school students. You can look up your favourite title, author or subject, and find a list of books you’ll like. It also includes useful resources for both parents and teachers such as reading lists, tips for reading with children and discussion guides.

Grzimek’s Animal Life is an image-rich, dynamic online resource that creates a true educational experience with detailed information on over 4,000 species, including some wonderful pictures.

Perfect for French Immersion students and parents, Powerspeak Languages lets you learn French online and for free. You can also tackle Spanish, German, Mandarin, or ESL (for Spanish speakers). Powerspeak uses a variety of interactive activities which make it fun to learn a new language. You can even log in to a personal account and track your progress.

PebbleGo is an animal database designed specifically for children from Kindergarten through to Grade 3. It features more than 200 animal articles correlated to life science standards, animal audio and video, educational games, and innovative read-aloud capabilities. It features easy-to-use searching tools, and introduces early learners to database and research.

TumbleBooks contains animated talking picture books that teach kids the joy of reading in a format they love. TumbleBooks are created by taking well loved picture books and adding animation, sound, music and narration. They are also available in French and Spanish, and there are choices to make between story books, read alongs, tumble tv, puzzles, games, language learning and non-fiction books.

World Book provides a bright and colourful interface and features a constantly changing video and colourful pictures and buttons. Rather than lifting a heavy volume off the shelf you can simply click on any category you wish – animals, pictures, maps, dictionaries and famous people to name a few. As Francis Yeats-Brown journalist and author of the best-selling book Bengal Lancer once said, “To me the charm of an encyclopedia is that it knows—and I needn't.” So pull up a chair and create some excitement with home assignments this fall.

Caron E. Naysmith

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