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Database Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kandi Young

Kandi has degrees in Communications, Human Services, Education and Computer Science. She is a Business, Marketing, and Technology instructor with a Master's degree in Education.

This lesson focuses on introducing the concept of databases and their uses to elementary aged students. Several engaging activities are included for all levels of learners. Alternatives for classrooms without access to computers are provided for the activities.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Define and understand the uses of a database
  • Understand database terminology
  • Create a database

Length

1 to 2 hours

Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Materials

  • Paper
  • Printed list of prompt questions

Vocabulary

  • Database
  • Field
  • Record

Instructions

Warm-Up

  • Pass out a sheet of paper to each student.
  • Ask students to think about their favorite place to visit.
  • Explain that you want the students to write everything they know about that place on their papers.
  • Provide students a list of prompt questions. These can include:
    • What is the name of the place?
    • What is the place? Is it a country, state, city, amusement park?
    • Where is it located?
    • How far away from your home is it?
    • Do you drive or fly there?
    • What do you do there?
    • Why is it your favorite place?
    • How many times have you been there?
    • Who goes there with you?
    • Is the place famous for anything? If so, what?
  • Give students enough time to answer as many questions as possible.
  • Instruct students to set their papers to the side momentarily.

Text Lesson

  • Now, hand out the lesson, Databases: Lessons for Kids. As a class, read the lesson. Stop at the 'Lesson Summary' header and discuss:
    • Have you ever used a database? If so, where? What did it organize?
    • Was the database you used easy to understand? Why or why not?
    • What are some advantages of a database?
    • Is the list you made a database? Why or why not?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' together and answer any questions.
  • Instruct students to take the quiz.
  • Review the questions together and clarify any missed questions in a class discussion.

Making a Database

This activity will allow students to make a database without the use of technology. As an extension, students could be asked to turn this paper database into a real computer-based database.

Materials

  • Index Cards
  • Poster Board
  • Glue/Tape
  • Database software (optional for extension)

Instructions

  • Pass out a handful of index cards to each student and one poster board per student.
  • Explain that the information they wrote about their favorite place is a great starting place for a database.
  • Ask students to think about what is missing from their list to make it a database. Questions could include:
    • What two things are needed for something to be a database?
    • Does your list have fields or records?
    • Is information easy to find on your paper?
    • What would make it easier?
  • Instruct students to review their lists and brainstorm some appropriate fields, such as:
    • Name
    • Location
    • Activities
  • Ask students to write each field on a separate index card.
  • Instruct students to place the index cards with the fields on them at the top of their poster board.
  • Explain that they will use the remaining index cards to add information that would be related to their fields.
  • Instruct students to place their index cards under the appropriate field.
  • Allow students to present their databases to the class.

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