Elementary Library Instruction and Curriculum Mapping

I spent the day assisting a group of elementary library media specialists from a local district. The librarians were charged with creating comprehensive curriculum maps that include Empire State Information Fluency benchmarks and are aligned to the ELA Common Core standards, AASL standards, and EngageNY K-2 Domains/3-5 Modules. In short, no easy task. The journey began with a considerable amount of understandable stress brought on by concern over time restraints and scheduling. By the end of the day, we were able to achieve a workable skeleton map (with Kindergarten and 5th grade fleshed out)–and more importantly, a sense of relief for the coming year.  The hits keep coming for teachers across the board, so anything that helps alleviate that panic is a win in my book.

If you are approaching curriculum mapping, and feeling that same oh-my-goodness-how-will-I-ever-do-all-this?! feeling, perhaps our approach will help:

1. We started by looking over some curriculum documents on EngageNY. Most helpful were the K-2 overviews of domain themes, and the 3-5 curriculum maps.
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade

Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade

An important note: we found discrepancies between the K-2 curriculum map overview that prefaces the Kindergarten ELA Curriculum Map and the topics found on the links above; we opted to use the above resources as they were created on a more recent date.

You can find our compiled EngageNY K-5 themes by grade here: EngageNY K-5 Themes (Updated 2/2014)

2. We aligned the domains/modules by distributing them across months, September – June. This may vary by individual school districts/buildings, depending on if your district is planning to adapt, adopt or ignore the domains/modules–and the timeline may not be perfect, but it’s a great starting point. From there, we looked at existing library curriculum, preserved what made sense to keep and revised for better alignment (for example: Kindergarten Domain 3, “Stories” was matched with library instruction around authors, illustrators, and story elements)

3. We looked back through the newly aligned domains/modules and library instruction, and inserted Empire State Information Fluency Continuum Priority Benchmarks where they made the most logical sense (using the Kindergarten example above, we added the ESIFC Priority Benchmark “K.2 Understands the Basic Organizational Structure of Books”. Happily, these already have aligned assessments, so that piece was an easy fit into the overall map.

4. Once these pieces were in place, we could flesh out the essential questions and standards. If we wanted to get really crazy, we could insert resources into the map as well.

To access the mapping template we used, click here: Curriculum Map template This is adapted from Curriculum Mapper, so if you have existing maps from this program, it’s very easy to copy/paste across the columns and edit accordingly.

Are you tasked with curriculum mapping? What’s your approach?


6 thoughts on “Elementary Library Instruction and Curriculum Mapping

  1. Yes, as a librarian, I’m tasked with doing a curriculum mapping which was due yesterday to my principal. We have our own Guam Dept. of Education ELA standards which needs to include the AALS and the Common Core State Standards.
    I’m at a loss. Please advise.

    • Patria,

      The best advice I can offer is to start small. What grade levels are you covering? Can you identify some overarching benchmarks or exit goals for each year? You could even approach it with grade level bands–I’m not well-versed in how the educational system works in Guam, but maybe you could lump Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 together.

      As I mentioned in the post, the “Empire State Information Fluency Continuum” references the AASL standards and the New York State version of the Common Core Standards. It also has grade-level specific library/inquiry skills. You can access it here: http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1A931D4E-1620-4672-ABEF-460A273D0D5F/0/EmpireStateIFC.pdf Pages 16-52 provides specific library skills by grade level bands, aligned with the AASL standards. Page 255-466 takes these skills and aligns them to the Common Core. Pages 54-77, and 78-104 will be helpful for identifying skills by grade in bands in greater depth. There are graphic organizers tied to these grade level skills on pages 113-247 that can be used as both formative and summative assessments.

      You might also want to check out the AASL/Common Core Crosswalk, which aligns these two sets of standards, available here: http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/crosswalk

      While they’re nothing special, please feel free to use the charts embedded on the post. If I can be of further help, please let me know–you can contact me via email as well. Good luck!

      • Thank you for posting this. I’ve been doing research for a long time to obtain a NYS curriculum map and your’s is very good. Just wondering a few things:
        1) have you updated it since you posted this version a few years ago
        2) do you have a list of books that you use to go along w/the map

        thank you.

      • Hi Suzanne,
        Unfortunately, we haven’t done an update, although I believe we’ll be gearing up to tackle this work soon, especially with the updated Next Generation Learning Standards here in NYS, and the new AASL Standards that were just released. In terms of books, we had an eye on the recommended reading lists in Appendix B of the CCLS, found here: http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_B.pdf. Best of luck!

      • May I use the information on the help you gave the librarians with the Empire State Fluency bench marks to develop my own curriculum. I am new to Common Core and very much need the help. Thank you

      • Hi Christine! Absolutely – I’d love to see what you come up if when you;re finished, if you’re willing to share. Thanks for asking and best of luck!

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