Trekking through the wilds of library instruction, management, and fun!

Mar 18, 2014

My Favorite OPAC Activity

I just love when the Lord gives me a wonderful idea that my students enjoy! No other lesson has ever stimulated my students' interest in using our OPAC as much as this one did. As an added dividend, it produces a wonderful display of books related to a particular topic (fall, in this lesson).

BOOK STANDS: Do you recognize the cardboard book stands in the pictures below? They used to come with our book fair materials. I cut Velcro into 1" - 2" sections and applied the fuzzy side to the cardboard display base of as many book stands as I could find.

LABELS: I searched TPT and the internet for FREE word wall cards that were related to my topic. I printed them on cardstock, laminated them and cut them out. Then I applied a loopy Velcro section to each of them. I placed all of them in a little basket.

ACTIVITY:  The students were divided in pairs and given one of the labels from the basket. Their job was to use the OPAC to locate any book related to the topic on their label. Then they were to attach the label to a book display and set the book on it for others to consider checking out. As time allowed, they kept drawing labels from the basket and searching for books.

It was a blast, and we can "play" this OPAC review game as many times as I'm able to create new sets of labels!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Yours happily ever after,


  1. I'd love to do this with my students. They really struggle with using our OPAC (which, to be fair is not really well designed for kids) What age group did you do this lesson with?

    1. I used this with 3rd - 5th graders :)

  2. We are going to try this. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  3. We are going to try this. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

  4. Doing this with my students this week, and it has went great so far! Made my own cards because I wanted the same format for all of them and couldn't find any free ones that offered a variety of words covered in the non-fiction section.

    Had a student ask me if they could pick from the words to find a library book for them to check out that day! I might make a little display with the cards by the checkout computer for students who aren't sure what they want to read about to pick from.