Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plan

Title: Computers as Accessing Tools: Distant Databases

Materials Needed: Index card per student; examples of distant databases accessible by computer; weekly newspaper TV listings.

Time: Two class sessions.

Terms: Databases, Information Accessing




With the Media Professional

  • 1. Discuss the types of databases available in the school media center and the community. Also identify the types of information in databases which can be accessed by computer, such as airline travel schedules to NC towns and local weather forecasts.
  • 2. Arrange for the media professional to talk to the class about such databases.

Activity 1:

  • 1. Discuss as an entire class the types of print and computerized collections of data (called databases) on North Carolina information that might exist across the state.


    • 1. location of state parks, rivers/lakes/sounds, amusement parks, native American groups, county seats of government, historic sites, airports, college ball teams, youth soccer leagues;
    • 2. names of NC sports teams, state beaches, state resources, mountain parks, and ski resorts;
    • 3. information on local weather, movies currently playing, TV shows, airline travel schedules to NC towns, and local weather.
  • 2. Divide the class into pairs of students. Provide groups of 2-3 pairs of students a weekly TV listing from the newspaper. Ask them to find a particular program you have selected. After the first group has found the selected program, ask the students how a computer could have helped in the search.
  • 3. Have each pair of students select two items of information from the examples discussed in class which they would like to access with a computer. Instruct them to write the phrase "I want to know if I can use a computer to find out" on each of two index cards and then complete each statement with the two examples they had selected.
  • 4. Collect the cards and group them by like examples. Lead the class in a discussion of who might have that information and how a computer would be helpful in obtaining the information.

Activity 2:

  • 1. Visit the media center or have the media professional come to the class to share with the students what databases are available in the school or in the community and which of their database examples might be accessible by a computer.


After the discussion of using a computer to access information in North Carolina, have each student select two types of information he would like to learn more about and, then, write a letter to "Whom It Might Concern:" to ask if the information is accessible by computer. Have the student explain in the letter how computer access would be helpful.