Homework Help

All About That Database

It’s almost time for Back to School (yes, I know, summer was too short)! School means research. And research is where libraries come in. But did you know that libraries are about more than just books these days?

If you have a Vaughan Public Libraries card, you also have access to a wide variety of online databases to do your research. But wait, you say! Your teacher doesn’t want you using online sources. The good news is, databases are a little different than just randomly searching the World Wide Web, where you might be inundated with information, but unsure which sources are trustworthy. When you are using a database for research, you can be sure the information you find is factual and reliable.

Here are just a few of the databases you can access as a VPL user (hint: you can find links to these by visiting vaughanpl.info, and choosing Articles & Research from the Books & Resources menu at the top of the page. Then, for databases especially for children, select the Kids & Teens category):

EXPLORA Primary: Contains full text for popular children’s magazines, easy-to-read encyclopedic entries and a vast image collection. Students can learn about a variety of topics, such as endangered species, famous musicians, fitness, space exploration and more.

Canada in Context: Gale Canada in Context is an engaging online experience for those seeking contextual information on a broad range of Canadian topics, people, places, events.

World Book L’Encyclopédie Découverte: L’Encyclopédie Découverte propose les excellents articles et les vastes possibilités du contenu médiatique de World Book en français canadien. (Perfect for French and French Immersion students!)

World Book Timelines: Offers hundreds of pre-generated timelines across eight broad topics, which cover various time periods in history or span the life of historical public figures.

Looking for something to read for fun online? NoveList K-8 Plus is an excellent resource to find your next favourite book. Or read along with the TumbleBook Library, TumbleBookCloud and TumbleBookCloud Junior.

There are many other databases available through our website to meet your research needs. Your school may also have access to some other excellent online databases—ask your teacher or school librarian. And of course, you always have access to our catalogue of junior non-fiction print and digital books to help you in your learning. Visit our website or one of our branches to check it out!

P.S. Grownups, we also have a variety of databases to help in your personal, professional and academic research.

Learning Shapes through Art

Trying to learn about shapes?  What about doing some shape art?  Moving around shapes on paper is one way to help become familiar with different shapes and how they can be turned and joined.  If you can create a picture with shapes, all the better!

Tangram art example -- picture of a snail

Arrange your paper shapes of different colours on top of black construction paper — this makes a stunning contrast!

Silvia Borando’s book ‘Shapes, Reshape!’ is a playful look at how animal pictures can be created through the use of squares and rectangles of various sizes and colours.  The reader is presented with shapes on a page.  Chime in with the phrase “What could they be?” that gets repeated throughout, and see how each set of shapes get rearranged to form an animal picture.  This book also counts down from 10 to 1 and vivid colours are used.

book cover of 'Shapes, Reshape!' by author Silvia Borando -- a cover picture of colourful rectangles and sqaures

Want some more shape fun?  Try ‘Shapes at Play’ — this book also shows how shapes can be arranged to form pictures, but it includes circles and triangles too.

cover of 'Shapes at Play' by author Silvia Borando -- pictures of smiling squares, circles & triangles

Like what you see?  Check out these other titles by author/illustrator Silvia Borando in our collection:

                               cover image of S. Borando's picture book 'Black Cat, White Cat'          cover image of S. Borando's picture book 'Now You See Me, Now You Don't'          cover image of S. Borando's picture book 'Near, Far'         cover image of S. Borando's picture book 'The White Book'

Want to improve your spatial sense?  Read about the tale of tangrams and then practice with your own tangram shapes (you can make these from construction paper, Bristol board or cardboard).  Check out these titles for ideas and a tangram template:

cover image of J. Slocum's non-fiction book for kids 'The Tangram Book'cover image of A. Tompert's picture book 'Grandfather Tang's Story'

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