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About This Page

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

Keep Updated!

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: Keep updated 

Detroit Public TV: Digital Adventure: 360 Interactive Experience - Winged Creatures

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 to conduct further research!

MeL Kids

MeL Kids

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

    • 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

  • Storytime

    • 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.

  • Games and Activities

    • 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.

  • About Michigan

    • 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:

Subscription Databases

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.

  • Abstracts

  • Citation information

  • eBooks

  • Images

  • Videos

  • 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.

MeL for Science Grades K - 5

Which databases should you use related to Science in grades K - 5? Check out the MeL Science Flyer K-5 (PDF)

MeL for Social Studies

Which databases should you use related to Social Studies? Check out the MeL Social Studies Flyers - All grades (PDF)

Britannica School Resources

Britannica School Elementary

Britannica School ElementaryGrades 3-4. Find information on countries, animals, and people in articles, media, and a world  atlas. Watch and learn with videos, games, and activities.


Britannica Learning Zone

Pre K - 2nd grade. Britannica Learnng ZoneSchool code is mel5. Activity-centered learning to explore, play, read, and build technology skills. Letters, numbers, geography, shapes and much more are included.

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 Resources

  • 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. MoGeneral Reference Center Goldstly 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.


Kids InfoBits          **Google & Microsoft Integrated**

Grades PreKKids Infobits - 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.


Research in Context         **Google & Microsoft Integrated**

Includes tResearch in Contexthe 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.

World Books Resources

Early World of Learning

Grades PreK-5. FoEarly World of Learningllow 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.


Enciclopedia Estudantil Hallazgos

Grades PreK - 5Enciclopedia. 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.


World Book for Kids

Grades PreK - 5 CoWorld Book for Kidsntains 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

eBook Resources

Scholastic BookFlix

Grades PreK -Scholastic Bookflix 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.


eBook K-8 Collection

FeBook K-8 Collectioniction and nonfiction books you can read online - for school and for fun.  Search for what you want.  Picture books, homework topics, languages learning.  Online help available too.


 NoveList K-8 Plus

Find just the right boNovelist K-8 Plusok 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 flyer

  • NoveList promotion kit

Test Prep and Skills Improvement Resources

LearningExpress Library - School Center

Grades 4 throughLearning Express Library 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:

    • Welcome

    • Home Page

    • Registering as a New User

    • About Centers

    • Searching for Resources

    • How to Take a Tutorial

    • How to Take a Test

    • How to Download and Use and eBook

    • My Center

  • SAT® Product Flyer

Michigan Digital History Resources

MeL Michigana

Enrich yoMichiganaur 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:

Currently Searchable

  • Civil War Diaries Collection

  • Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection

  • Governing Michigan

  • 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

  • Seeking Michigan

  • 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

  • Ward Morgan Photography Collection