Anatomy of a Curriculum Kit, Part 3: Resources to Help You Pull It Together

Selecting materials to create kits in subject areas you may or may not know much about can be a challenge. You can feel free to copy our kits, but I’d bet a fair number of the items we chose are already out of print. Here are some resources I’ve found helpful when designing curriculum kits.

Children’s Catalog
I can see the possibilities in the electronic edition, but I’ve only ever used the paper version with the red cover. Browsing the call number areas and perusing the index is a great way to remember books you’ve forgotten or to identify books you didn’t know about subjects that aren’t covered widely. I’ve also found this to be a helpful way to identify subjects and subtopics for kits.

Best Books for Children by Catherine Barr and John T. Gillespie
Best Books for Children contains many more books than Children’s Catalog and can be helpful in much the same ways.

Library Video
Library Video sells educational videos to schools and libraries. They have some interesting films, and you can search their catalog online by topic and age/grade level. Many of their titles are reviewed by journals such as SLJ and Video Librarian.

Midwest Tape
Midwest’s search feature isn’t as helpful as Library Video’s if you’re searching by subject, but it’s still good. Midwest has an excellent selection, and we’re big fans of their customer service at WPL.

Lakeshore Learning Materials
This is where we found a lot of the manipulatives that enhance our kits: dominoes, play money, magnifying glasses, etc. Their prices are reasonable and their quality is decent.

Being part of the Monroe County Library System, we have a shared catalog that lets me search the holdings of all the public libraries in the county at once. Most libraries are part of a system like this, and it’s an excellent way to identify materials you may not be familiar with. As a bonus, if a library in your system owns something, you can take a look at it.  Personally, I find this tremendously helpful when there aren’t any reviews or the reviews are conflicting (which is so often the case, particularly with non-book materials). And, of course, don’t forget your colleagues in youth services. Other youth services librarians can be the most useful resource of all.

In our next installment, “Anatomy of a Curriculum Kit, Part 4,” we will explore issues surrounding processing and circulating your new kits.

Explore posts in the same categories: Curriculums and Other Homeschooling Resources, Library Programs and Services

One Comment on “Anatomy of a Curriculum Kit, Part 3: Resources to Help You Pull It Together”

  1. […] your library, be sure to check out my four-part Anatomy of a Curriculum Kit series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.] Explore posts in the same categories: […]

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