Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plan
Title: Databases Alive!
Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Social Studies: Skill Goal I, Skill Goal II; Computer Skills:
(Gr. 5) 1.2; Information Skills 1.3, 1.4,
Competency 2.2: Identify database management terms (e.g., database, file, record,
field/category, sort/arrange, select/search, report).
Measure 2.2.1: Given a list of database terms and definitions, match the term to
the correct definition.
Materials Needed: Classroom file cabinet with one file folder containing several
similar pages such as a form or pages containing fields of student name, address, age;
telephone books (optional); index cards or slips of paper printed as Figure 1 for each
student; hole punchers (optional); knitting needle or skewer.
Time: Two class sessions.
Terms: Database, File, Record, Field/Category, Sort/Arrange, Select/Search,
- 1. Divide the class into groups of three students each.
- 2. Provide each group a handout with the database management terms of
- database: collection of data organized for search and retrieval
- file: a collection of related records
- record: a collection or listing of related fields or categories
- field/category: an item of information
- sort/arrange: process of organizing the records in a database in a specific
order, either alphabetically from A to Z or reverse alphabetically from Z to A or
numerically from 0 to 9 or reverse numerically from 9 to 0.
- select/search: process of choosing all records that meet or satisfy a statement,
rule or criterion. A search may be based on a combination of statements, rules or
- report: a display (on the screen or printed onto paper) of the records or parts
of the records of a database that satisfy a particular search or sort.
- 3. Use the classroom file cabinet as a visual as you discuss each of the first four
- 4. Have the groups discuss how a telephone directory is a database and match the
following parts of the telephone book with the database terms on their handout: yellow
pages, listings beginning with the letter A, the name Mark R. Jones, the number
704-992-0010, and the listing of restaurants in the yellow pages.
- 1. Have the students describe the sort process of a database and state how that process
is different from the search or select process they just did.
- 2. Appoint a student to be the SORTER. Have the students stand beside their desk for the
SORTER to arrange the students in the front of the room by height.
- 3. Discuss if this sort was in numerical ascending order or descending order.
- 4. Ask the students to identify differences between sort and select (i.e., use all
students in a sort, fewer ways to sort (alphabetically or numerically)).
- 5. Conclude the lesson by asking students to match the database terms with the
following: student name, student, class, school population.
Use the database terms listed to write a paragraph starting with the story starter
We can use our school as an example of a database
with the entire school population being σσσ
Terms to use: database, record, file, field, sort, and select.