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For Teachers


This channel highlights the opportunities and resources for teachers that are available throughout the library system. Learn more about our primary sources, professional development opportunities and student learning experiences. Let NYPL help you reach your teaching and learning goals!

Read for Your Life: Resources for Teaching Health Literacy to Adults

A woman came into the Library's Center for Reading and Writing, where she was enrolled in a basic literacy class. Visibly shaken, she pulled a staff member aside and confided that she wasn’t sure if she would be able to continue in the class. She had felt some pain in her breast, and her doctor had recommended that she have a mammogram. Not having any idea what a mammogram was, she understood it to mean that she had cancer. The staff member showed her how to find information about

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Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Bookworm Occupations on February 4, 2012

On February 4, 2012, supervising librarian Elizabeth Bird hosted a meeting of the minds, bringing a school librarian, public librarian, bookseller, parental blogger, and an author/illustrator together in the Margaret Berger Forum of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The Children's Literary Salon is a monthly meeting in The New York Public Library for anyone interested in children's literature. It usually occurs on the first Saturday of the month from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Check

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New York Then and Now: Social Studies Resources for Upper Elementary Students

We hope to get you and your students in a New York state of mind with these non-fiction resources about the Big Apple! There are so many great books on this topic, so please feel free to add to this list as you see fit. Feedback is greatly appreciated!


Interested in New York current events? Search this database for full text articles from New York State newspapers. Need to spruce up your NYC history lessons with some historical photos? Search NYPL's

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Searching Databases for African American History Month: Frederick Douglass

February is African American History Month! The New York Public Library's databases have loads of information on influential African Americans. Let's take a look at Frederick Douglass as an example.

The African American Experience This database explores the history and culture of African Americans.

Type "Frederick Douglass" in the bar labeled Quick Search. Click on the link under Topic Guides to get an overview of his life. To the left of the ... Read More ›

Booktalking "How They Met & Other Stories" by David Levithan

The way that I have been inspired to read teen literature tends to be from meeting authors, listening to them talk about their work, and then getting curious about what they wrote. This happened to me first with Walter Dean Myers, then with David Levithan. I heard Levithan discuss his work at a Teen Week event at The New York Public Library and was inspired to read How They Met and Other Stories. Levithan seemed very interesting to me. I have read some of his other works, but I am impressed by the variety of perspectives he has on love stories in this particular work.

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Booktalking "Lockdown" by Walter Dean Myers

Yes, it is one of my blog posts about a Walter Dean Myers book... again. I have a thing about Walter Dean Myers after hearing him speak a couple of times, and he seems very interesting. We also have a shared interest in teenagers and the criminal justice system. Anyhow, here is another one.

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers, 2010

With names like Icy, Toon, Play, and King Kong, you might 

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Booktalking "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers

By now, everyone probably knows how much I love Walter Dean Myers as an author. So, here's another booktalk of a very highly decorated book in terms of awards:

Monster by Walter Dean Myers, 1999.

Here's the scene: Mr. Nesbitt is a bodega (convenience store) owner who keeps a gun in his store to protect himself and the store. Supposedly, a young man goes into the store prior 

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Teaching World War I: Treaty of Versailles (Databases for Use in Creating Lesson Plans)

To help in your lesson planning, we've highlighted some databases that feature information on the Treaty of Versailles:

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia — type in "Treaty of Versailles" or search "World War I" for more results Grolier Online — Type in "Treaty of Versailles." In the list of results, ... Read More ›

Discover a World of Information on Explorers

The New York Public Library’s databases will unveil loads of information on these pioneers.

BookFlix — Go to the “People and Places” link. On the last page, you will find a story and lesson plan on Christopher Columbus. Kids Search — Type in "Explorers" and you will get results like “Name the Explorers Crossword Puzzle.” Also, click on the “Books ... Read More ›

Teaching Prohibition: Databases for Use in Creating Lesson Plans

To help in your lesson planning, I've highlighted some databases available at the Library that are related to Prohibition.

Grolier Online — type in "Prohibition" and find articles on the topic in various reading levels and in Spanish. Kids Search — click on the “images” link and type in "Prohibition." You will find primary source information on the topic. ... Read More ›

Booktalking "Game" by Walter Dean Myers

Game by Walter Dean Myers, 2008.

Drew's mom sees inner city kids shot dead outside and wants him to stay out of the street. He does, but he also goes to legal hearings about other kids in trouble. Other guys without the smarts, or guys that get into trouble with drugs or the law — they don't make it. Maybe they don't have support from someone like Drew's mother.

Luckily, 6'5" Drew excels at basketball and has no dreams of 

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Booktalking "Riot" by Walter Dean Myers

Riot A protest of the Civil War draft by Walter Dean Myers

My First Booktalk Riot by Walter Dean Myers was my very first real booktalk. I presented it first to kids in a local middle school who seemed to enjoy it. There are powerful voices in the stories, issues of racism and wartime, and best of all, it is written as a screenplay.

Booktalk for Riot  

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To Booktalk or Not to Booktalk?

Booktalks I’ve Seen I have seen many talented librarians give booktalks in during trainings I have attended. One was about Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, which I was inspired to read since the booktalk was so dazzling. During my teen services librarian training, booktalking was stressed as one of the most important tools librarians can use to get teens interested in books.

What Booktalks Are For those of you who are unfamiliar with booktalks, they are essentially short commercials for the book, not summaries. They are supposed 

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Science Resources for the Fourth Grade Classroom: Animals and Plants in their Environments

NYPL has many great resources for budding zoologists, environmentalists, veterinarians, and students who are just plain curious! This list has been compiled to help students understand how animals act in their natural environments. These beautiful, information-rich recommendations are sure to enthrall your students — get ready to explore some of the wonders of the animal kingdom! Feedback is greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below!

Nonprint Resources

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Social Studies Resources for the 4th Grade Classroom: Colonial and Revolutionary Periods

With Thanksgiving a few days away, many of us are getting ready to enjoy the wonderful foods of our harvest, spend time with loved ones and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. We know that teachers are also busy creating social studies lessons about the significance of this holiday, especially the contributions of the different groups living in and travelling to the "New World" in the 1600-1700s.  This list of resources was compiled to help teachers and students learn, from a variety of perspectives, how the United States was 

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Social Studies Resources for the Second Grade Classroom: Our Community's Geography

Hope your school year is off to a great start! Below, you'll find a list of resources which offer background information in a variety of formats about the geography, history, and culture of New York City. We hope these highlights get your second graders thinking about their community, New York City, and maybe even a bit beyond. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below!


There are so many places to visit during a unit on geography! For international exploration, try

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The Floating University and other Online Learning Tools

The New York Public Library recently announced a partnership with The Floating University to present the 'Great Big Ideas' video lecture series. The first one took place yesterday, and was a lecture titled If You're So Free, Why Do You Follow Others? The Sociology and Science Behind Social Networks, Altruism and the Genetic Origins of Human Interaction presented by Professor Nicholas 

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Children's Literary Salons @ the Children's Center at 42nd Street

The Children's Literary Salon, previously known as the Children's Literary Cafe, began in 2007. In November 2008, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building ("the library with the lions") celebrated the opening of the Children's Center at 42nd Street. You can view "Women in Comics: Female Graphic Novelists Writing with Kids and Teens in Mind," a Children's 

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Science Resources for the Second Grade Classroom: Earth Materials

Dazzling minerals and talking worms are only some of what's in store on this "rockin" book list! Get your second graders ready to learn all about what our world is made of. Below, you'll find great resources on dirt, sand, rocks, and other earthly materials. Feedback is greatly appreciated — please leave comments and suggestions below!


Steve Tomecek’s Rocks and Minerals is a rock-solid read aloud. Lots of student-friendly illustrations assist in 

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Social Studies Resources for Third Grade Classrooms: Africa

Hope your school year is off to a great start! Below, you'll find a list of resources which offer background information in a variety of formats about the continent of Africa. NYPL has many wonderful materials on specific communities and countries within Africa — way too many to list here. We hope these highlights are helpful and inspire further exploration. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below!

Atlas of Africa (part of the 

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