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Missouri State University home page Missouri State University Libraries

Infant Through Grade 12 Resources: Middle School

Collections for those working with children and youth.

Finding Books

SWAN logo

Use SWAN to find books and other materials in IG12. 

Ways to narrow your search:

  • Search by keyword, use the drop-down box for "Specific Library Location" and click on "MSU-Meyer Curriculum" to narrow your results to items in IG12.
  • Search using the "Other Format" drop-down box. Try "Kit" for curriculum kits, "Music Audio" to get CDs, or "Pics/Posters" to find a poster on your topic.  

Searchpath Tutorial

    Find out more about SWAN and other library resources by taking our short, online tutorial.

    CLCD logo


    Children's  Literature Comprehensive Database

    Find titles and create thematic and age-appropriate lists.  You can search by topic or theme, genre (i.e. poetry), age or grade level, and even reading level using this database.  Find award lists here, as well. This is an amazing database for anyone interested in finding and using children's and young adult literature. Not all titles found here are available in IG12, but it's a good place to start your search.



    Springfield-Greene County Library District

    Search the catalog

    Students living on campus and Greene county residents can use our local public library. Click here to request an online card. The Park Central branch and the Midtown branch are the locations closest to the Springfield campus. (You can take the shuttle to the square downtown to get to the Park Central branch). If you can't find a book in IG12 and need it quickly, the public library is a great place to check.


    A statewide consortium of mostly college and university libraries. Search the MOBIUS catalog to borrow books from other consortium members and request books for delivery to MSU’s libraries. Most MOBIUS items arrive in 2-3 days. Go to Circulation for pick-up. If you fill out a notification form at Circulation, they will e-mail you when your item arrives.

    Use Our Die-Cut Machine

    Ellison frog       Ellison umbrella    Ellison snowman    Ellison house

    Use our Ellison Machine to cut out patterns or letters from almost any kind of paper.

    You can create bulletin boards, game pieces, name tags, gift cards, and more!

    Bring your own paper; use of the die-cut machine is free.

    For some creative curriculum ideas from Ellison, click here.

    PBS Activity Packs

    PBS Teachers

    Link to PBS resources through their themed Activity Packs.  Each ties in with a specific curricular area.

    Find a Book for Grades 5 - 8



    Need a list of great fantasy titles for a magic-loving tween? Titles to help your sixth graders understand DNA? Search the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database!


    Want to keep up with Middle School Literature?  Check out these sites:

      Multicultural/Multiethnic Books

      The sites below provide good 'starting points' for finding multicultural books. It is helpful to review sites that give good guidelines for evaluating multicultural titles; many award-winning books do not accurately represent the cultures they are attempting to depict, and some are, quite frankly, what one reviewer calls "toxic". 

      Lesson Planning

       More Social Studies    Readers Theatre for American History    Mathematical Literacy


      To learn how to easily find books with ideas on lesson plans and activities, see the "FAQ" tab, above.

      Often textbooks have excellent lesson plan ideas.  Look for the Teacher's Edition, which often has "wraparound" text giving ideas for activities, lessons, and assessments.  Since textbooks strive to fulfill national and state standards, the topic areas are usually quite similar, but the ideas for presenting them can be different and fun to use.

      Tired of spending hours Googling for lesson plans or other information?
      Try these!

      Finding Items in IG12

      We have 4 main areas within IG12; each has its own location code that you will see on the library catalog record:

      MSU Meyer Curric Juv denotes an item in our small school library area;

      MSU Meyer Curric General denotes an item in our Curriculum Guide area;

      MSU Meyer Curric Textbook denotes an item in our Textbook area; and

      MSU Meyer Curric Kit denotes an item in our Curriculum Kit area.

      Finding Books by Level

      Lexile Levels:  go to  for information on this program. It is free to register.

      This Web site is a fabulous starting point.  You can take the grade level ranges and use them in CLCD for preliminary choices in choosing books for students.

      Remember that your student will be working within a range – 100 below to 50 above his or her score. To find your student’s approximate level, go to:

      Ask your student if s/he finds reading her grade level textbook easy, pretty much on target, or hard – and fill in the appropriate grade level and “circle” on the page. Follow directions to create a list of potential titles. Look these up in our Catalog, or use CLCD to find. CLCD gives Lexile and other reading levels for many of its titles.

      You might also try Follett Titlewave. Go to and register. Under “Collection Development” on the left of the screen, click “Books” under Search. Fill in the boxes for the types/levels of books your student might be interested in. Click on “Want” for titles you’d like to save; you can create a number of lists.




      Please e-mail
      Cherri Jones with your suggestions to post more useful sites on this page.