Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plan

Title: Parlez-vous Fran?ais?

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Social Studies: (Gr. 6) 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 9.1; Computer Skills: (Gr. 5) 2.2, (Gr. 6) 3.2; Information Skills 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2

Grade: 6
Competency 3.2: Use a database to search for desired information, given one criterion and given two criteria (using "and" or "or" connectors where necessary).

Measure 3.2.1: Search a prepared database of European countries to identify the countries whose official language is French.

Materials Needed: Pre-activity: Prepared database file. Activities: 3 jars or see-through containers; 3 sets of colored objects (plastic eggs, candy, blocks, etc.) such that the third set is a combination of the other 2 colors; map of European countries; prepared database, index cards. (Database--Europe)

Time: One class session.

Terms: File, Record, Field, Search, And, Or




Teacher Preparation

  • 1. Review the fields of the prepared database file on the European countries.
  • 2. Practice searching each field using different relationships of equal to, greater than, less than, etc.
  • 3. Study the difference in the connectors "and" and "or."
  • 4. Collect the necessary supplies for the non-computer activity.

Non-computer Activity:

  • 1. Define the database function search: a process of selecting all database records that satisfy a statement, rule, or criterion.
  • 2. Ask the students to stand beside their seat if they satisfy the criterion you call out (e.g., rode a bus to school that morning, have brown eyes, have a sister, brought their lunch today). Identify this search relationship as "equal to." Discuss other relationships provided as selection choices by your database program.
  • 3. Introduce the concept of selecting records using the connector "or": all records that satisfy either one criterion or both criteria. Use three see-through containers. Fill one with one color of objects and a second with objects of another color. Mix some of the third set (ones with a combination of the 2 colors) into each container. (Object examples: orange candy, white candy, orange/white candy corn.)
  • 4. Place the third container labeled "or" between the other two containers.
  • 5. Ask students to decide what objects should go in the "or" container if it is the collection of all objects satisfying one container or the other. (Answer: all objects.)
  • 6. Introduce the concept of selecting records using the connector "and": all records that satisfy both criteria. Use the same three see-through containers of step 3 but label the third container "and."
  • 7. Ask the students to decide what objects should go in the "and" container if it is the collection of all objects satisfying both containers. (Answer: only the objects with both colors.)

Computer Activity:

  • 1. Select a student to be the "travel agent" and one to be the computer database "searcher." Provide the travel agent a map of European countries and the searcher a prepared database of European countries.
  • 2. Place the database fields of the prepared European countries file on the overhead. Ask the students to select a field to search to answer the question:
    • If I want to visit a country or countries that _(criterion) . (e.g., speak French, have a population (no.), does not border a body of water.)
  • 3. Call on selected students to ask the "travel agent" and "searcher" to work together to search for a country to visit based on the selected criterion.
  • 4. As the travel agent and the searcher use the maps and database file to find the answer, have the students prepare an index card with the question of step #2 and place the database search answer on the card once the "travel agent" has identified the country to visit.
  • 5. Discuss what non-computer resources could have been used to find the same answer and if the computer provided any benefits.
  • 6. (Optional: Have students read about or interview a travel agent or have a travel agent talk to the class--in person or via a phone call. Have the students ask how a travel agent uses a computer to determine travel locations.)


With a prepared database file of European countries loaded into a computer, find the countries that have

  • a population greater than 500,000.
  • an area of 11, 781 square miles.
  • only French as a major language.

Shade a map of Europe to indicate your findings for each search and supply a legend matching color and search criterion.