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