The purpose behind this page is to provide teachers and media specialists information about MeL Kids and the databases found in the Homework Helpers section. You can find items like handouts, slide decks, and videos that can be used in the classroom to help introduce students to the resources, or even supplemental material like graphic organizers or classroom materials. If you have any suggestions for content, or would like to share a resource you currently use, please email your ideas to CSchneider.MeL@gmail.com.
Be sure to keep updated on new resources added to the Teacher pages or anything MeL! Sign up for our K-12 School Library/Media Center & Educator Community on our Govdelivery ListServe! Click here to sign up:
Teachers and your students...
DPTV, the Detroit Zoological Society, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and the Organization for Bat Conservation created a Digital Adventure 360* Interactive Experience specifically for teachers, students, and caregivers! Three videos will take you on a virtual field trip inside these habitats to view first-hand animal behavior - and wait until you see how penguins and bats react to the cameras! Be sure to check out all of the hot spots within the video to read articles, listen to audio, or view a related video.
Each 360* interactive video includes lesson plans that have been designed by teachers for teachers and are aligned to the state standards for Michigan. And the lesson plans incorporate Michigan eLibrary content! These experiences are targeted for 6-12th grade, but are certainly not limited to this age group.
You won't want to miss this experience!
To access the videos and associated lesson plans, click on: Digital Adventure 360* Interactive Experience - Winged Creatures.
Once you have viewed the videos, be sure to come back to mel.org to conduct further research!
Specifically for our youngest users, MeL Kids focuses on resources appropriate from basically birth to 5th grade. On the landing page, users are immediately greeted by our Kids Mascot, Brookie, and his frog pal, Read-It. Be sure to click on Read-It to get access to a MeL coloring page!
There are four centers within MeL Kids:
Homework Helpers is the place to go to access all of the MeL pre-paid subscription databases appropriate for this age group. As long as your IP address is located in Michigan, you have free access. No logins are required!
Be sure to print off this handy guide to the pre-paid databases found in MeL Kids.
If you would like to link directly to a pre-paid database on your website, feel free to copy and paste our logos on your page and be sure to embed the Geo-Authenticated link. Database List with Geo-URL links
In addition to finding access to some of our pre-paid subscription databases related to reading, there are many great web links including Giggle Poetry, Kidsreads, Reading Rockets, and Storyline Online just to name a few.
Just like with the other centers, find access to some of MeL’s pre-paid subscription databases, this time with an interactive game and activity focus. External web links include CIA Kids’ Zone, DLTK’s Crafts for Kids, and Mr. R’s World of Math and Science.
Who doesn’t want to learn more about this great state in which we live?? We created this center specifically with elementary educators in mind since Michigan history is taught in the early grades. Here, users can click on external links that will let them explore and learn about things like Fish Identification, Birds, Bugs and Insects, and Snakes from Michigan. Also, there is a video about the Legend of Sleeping Bear and a great digital collection from around Michigan found in Michigana.
Here are some links to help with MeL:
Just what is a “subscription database”? Well, it is usually a searchable online resource that requires payment for access. The content of these databases are published by many different companies and contain information that usually is not available doing a basic free internet search. The information contained in these databases is quality, vetted, and reliable.
Types of content in the databases MeL offers include:
Full text articles from e-journals, newspapers, etc.
Curriculum materials and lesson plans
Also, some of the databases include interactive activities.
The following is a list of databases provided in MeL Kids, along with a description and links to videos and classroom material that you may find useful.
Which databases should you use related to Science in grades K - 5? Check out the MeL Science Flyer K-5 (PDF)
Which databases should you use related to Social Studies? Check out the MeL Social Studies Flyers - All grades (PDF)
Be sure to set up an Educator Account using school code is mel5 in order to get access to lesson plans and curriculum alignment!
Here are some helpful links for educators:
Gale’s Blog: Learn how real-world educators have used Gale’s 21st century resources to lead learners to higher rates of achievement and productivity.
Google Drive Integration Tip Sheet
Google Classroom Tip Sheet
Google and Gale Make Research Rewarding Video - video complements of Margaret "Gigi" Lincoln, Lakeview Schools District Librarian. How can we channel students’ natural penchant to choose Google for research rather than use library databases? Thanks to a new exciting partnership between Google for Education and Gale Cengage Learning, students and teachers can download, save, and share authoritative database content through Google Drive and Google Classroom. This presentation also highlights how other Michigan eLibrary resources that can be integrated into meaningful teaching and learning.
Gale’s Blog post about the Microsoft Integration
Working With Content and Lexile Levels in Gale Resources Fact Sheet
Product Training Webinars Schedule
Tools for Classrooms (Under Students, click on Resources for Middle and High School Students)
Tools for School Libraries (and teachers!) - access resources for both Elementary and Middle School students
How to Share Info from Gale Resources with your Classroom Tip Sheet
Scavenger Hunts for Gale Products
General Reference Center Gold **Google & Microsoft Integrated**
General user. Mostly full text. Integrates a variety of sources - newspapers, reference books, magazines, and trade publications. Find articles on current events, popular culture, business and industry trends, the arts and sciences, sports, hobbies, and more. Updated daily. Indexing, abstracts, image, or full text formats available.
General Reference Center Gold Info Sheet
InfoTrac Features and Tools
Kids InfoBits **Google & Microsoft Integrated**
Grades PreK - 5. Full text. Especially for beginning researchers in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Covers geography, current events, the arts, science, health, people, government, history, sports and more. Curriculum-related and age appropriate content is from the best elementary reference sources and magazines.
Tip: to access educator resources for Kids InfoBits, once in the product, click “More” at the top of the page next to the search bar. Then click on “Educator Resources” for tools to help you and your students.
Kids InfoBits video tutorials including Basics, Documents, Searching, and Your Library vs. Open Web
Kids InfoBits Fact Sheet
Kids InfoBits Tip Sheet
Classroom Materials for the Elementary Researcher
Research in Context **Google & Microsoft Integrated**
Includes the most-studied topics for grades 6-8 - literature, science, social studies, and U.S. and world history. Written specifically for middle schoolers (high school students may find it useful too) this information comes from authoritative sources including Gale, National Geographic and Scholastic and is aligned to national and state curriculum standards. Designed to develop learning skills to launch 6-8 graders into high school and beyond.
Introducing Research in Context Fact Sheet
Research in Context Videos
Topic Pages and Documents (4:33)
Resources for Middle and High School Students: This link takes you to multiple Tip Sheets and Worksheets related to the research process such as "How to Choose a Topic" and "How to Write a Conclusion".
Resource Guides for Research in Context: Access lesson plans, class projects and more. Scroll down and view "Students Resources in Context"
Lesson Plan for Reseach in Context or Kids InfoBits: Black History Month
Research in Context Scavenger Hunts
Grades PreK-5. Follow Trek and Taffy the cat around the world learning about colors, numbers and other fun things. Strengthen reading foundations with stories, activities and videos. Explore the Know It encyclopedia designed especially for early readers. Includes materials for educators.
Tip: Once you are in this resource, be sure to click on “For Educators” button located at the bottom of the screen toward the middle. Then click on “Educator Tools”. Here you can find some very helpful information to guide you to incorporating Early World into your classroom.
Video Overview - Early World of Learning (14:37)
Training - find info on how to use Early World of Learning
Grades PreK - 5. Bilingual resources - visual dictionary, world of animals, encyclopedia articles, and Spanish language newspapers. Eight categories to browse: arts, history and government, people, places, plants and animals, science and mathematics, sports and hobbies, and world religions. The visual dictionary includes thousands of images and more than 12,000 labels. Save, print, or email content.
Grades PreK - 5 Contains eight major subject categories: Arts, History and Government, Living Things, People, Places, Science and Mathematics, Sports and Hobbies, and World Religions. Has full-featured pictures, sounds and videos. Also includes a section for teachers.
Tip: Once you are in this resource, be sure to click on “For Educators” button located at the bottom of the screen toward the middle. Then click on “Educator Tools”. Here you can find Curriculum Correlations, Lesson Plans, and Webquests!
World Book Kids Flyer
World Book Online vs. the Web Info Sheet
What Do You Know Bookmark
Cite it Right Poster
Training - find out how to use World Book for Kids in the classroom.
Videos - includes 9 video tutorials on how to use World Book for Kids
Grades PreK - 5. An interactive experience that allows beginning readers to explore fiction and non-fiction designed to increase understanding and fluency. Increase comprehension and have fun at the same time!
Here are some helpful links for educators:
Remember - every book pair has an associated lesson plan with it! Once you’ve chosen a book pair, look to the top right for the link.
Find just the right book by subject, age, awards won, Lexile Reading levels, Common Core standards; even books made into movies, and much more. Read reviews and learn about the author. Create your own reading wish list.
Videos - 2015, eight short videos showing how to find books in these areas: Match a Unit of Study, Historical Events, Picture Book Extenders, Read-alikes, Reading and Writing Concepts, Narrative Nonfiction for Young Readers, Right books using Lexiles, and NoveList for schools.
NoveList promotion kit
Grades 4 through 12 skills improvement in math, writing and grammar, reading comprehension, social studies, and vocabulary and spelling through tests, eBooks, and tutorials. U.S. Constitution study and review.
Video tutorial on LearningExpress Library (17:00) includes the following sections:
Registering as a New User
Searching for Resources
How to Take a Tutorial
How to Take a Test
How to Download and Use and eBook
Enrich your family and Michigan history research with the digital and audio materials found in MeL Michigana. Over 50,000 items from a broad spectrum of libraries and historical institutions in Michigan are included in this free online collection.
Allows you to explore Michigan's heritage through photographs, diaries, oral histories, local records and historical data.
Contains the collections of The Digitization for Preservation and Access grant program - a statewide effort to digitize valuable and significant local and state-related information held in Michigan libraries and make such resources easily available via the Michigan eLibrary (MeL). It was funded by a FY 2005 allocation to the Library of Michigan from the Michigan Legislature. Ten projects were granted funding. In addition, MeL Michigana contains large digital collections such as the Making of Modern Michigan, the Archives of Michigan Image Collection and the Walter Reuther Library Digital Collections.
Provides websites of interest to anyone seeking historical data about Michigan on topics such as logging, maritime history, bridges, and archaeology, as well as general facts about the state.
The search box at the top of the MeL Michigana page searches the following collections also available lower on the page:
Civil War Diaries Collection
Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection
Grand Valley State Digital Collections
Great Lakes Maritime Database (Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Collection)
John Todd Photography Collection
Kalamazoo College Cache
Making of Ann Arbor
Michigan County Histories and Atlases
Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections
Upper Peninsula Regional Digitization Center - this includes Connecting the UP, Mackinac Bridge Authority, Sault Ste. Marie Shipping and Locks Collection
Virtual Motor City
War of 1812 Digitization Project