Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plans

Title: Computers as Accessing Tools: In-school Tour

Materials Needed: In-school examples of use of computers to access information; sketch of school floor plan; pictures of school staff or people in society using computers.

Time: One class session.

Terms: Computer, Information Accessing




With the School Staff

  • 1. Tour the school to make a list of uses of computers to access information such as the attendance and schedule records by the office staff, budget records by the bookkeeper, CD-ROM encyclopedia or media center catalog by students, food inventory or lunch ticket totals by the cafeteria staff, textbook inventory or bus route information by a school administrator, or grades by teachers.
  • 2. Decide on in-school sites to visit on the school field trip. Arrange for the class to tour the sites to see the use of the computers for accessing information.
  • 3. For the sites selected, take pictures of the people at their computers. (Or, locate magazine pictures of people in similar situations.)


  • 1. Lead the class in a discussion of computers being used in society to access information. (e.g., travel agents to reserve airline tickets, bank customers to determine account information from an automated teller machine, phone clerks of mail order houses such as L.L. Bean to check availability of an item, librarians to determine location of a book.)
  • 2. Divide the class into groups of 3 or more students. Give each group a sketch of the school floor plan with major areas labeled. Have the students brainstorm in their groups to mark with an "X" the places in the school where large amounts of products or information are located. (e.g., principal's office, attendance office, guidance office, media center, cafeteria, school store, gym, band room.)
  • 3. Either with the entire class or with several groups at a time, tour the school to search for sources of large amounts of products or information. Have the students mark their findings on their group's school sketch as follows:
    	circled "X" = site marked during brainstorming  which did contain a
                        computer being used for information accessing. 
    	check mark=site not marked during brainstorming which did contain a
                     computer being used for information accessing.
    	"X"=site marked during brainstorming but not a site with a computer
              used for information accessing.
  • 4. After regrouping in the classroom, have each group share with the class their brainstorming sites that were information accessing sites and how the computer was being used to access information.
  • 5. Discuss how using the computers to access information might have changed the work life of these individuals.


Fasten on the bulletin board photos you have taken of the school staff who use computers to access information and who were visited on the in-school tour (or pictures of people in various roles in society using computers to access information). Assign each student to study the pictures and to write a short paragraph about how an individual in one of the pictures uses computers to access information. Place the descriptions on the bulletin board under the pictures, changing descriptions to display each person's work.