Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Our Local White Pages

Marlene Loewen


Do your students know how to use the telephone book? Will they be able to function in the real world, when they need to find someone? The students learn to identify a local phone book and find phone numbers in the white pages for specified purposes to ensure they can survive in the real world. Students must have alphabetical order skills before accomplishing this task.


Identify and locate oral, print, or visual information for specified purposes.

Identify and locate oral, print, or visual information for specified purposes - with guidance and support.`

Participate in recognition and use of information when engaged in daily activities - with assistance.


- Local phone books (identical)
- Find Phone numbers checklists
- Copy of Accomplished Checklist
- Transparencies of checklists 1 and 2
- Transparency of phone book page (enlarged)
- Highlighter
- Vis-à-vis markers
- Large catalogs and reference books
- Overhead


1. Locate enough telephone books for each student. All phone books must be identical. (Local phone company will accommodate you; preferably ask for older versions to prevent students from locating your and other personnel’s personal phone numbers.)
2. Make transparencies of FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file), and FindPhone#Chklst2 (see associated file).
3. Make an enlarged copy on a transparency of a page in the phone book.
4. Make copies of FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file), and FindPhone#Chklst2 (see associated file). Create any additional checklists for remedial practice from FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file), adding different names as needed and copy for students.
5. Create large pile of assorted reference books and catalogs on a table.
6. Make copy of AccomplishedChecklist (See associated file)


NOTE: This lesson requires students have alphabetical order knowledge and skills before accomplishing this task. This is an introduction to the white pages only.
Continue lesson and remedial practice until mastery has been accomplished at 80%.

1. Ask students: “If I wanted to call each of you tonight after school and forgot my files, how could I find your phone numbers? (school directory, telephone book) What could I use if I needed a plumber or air conditioner person? (phone book) What if I wanted to go to the bowling alley and needed to call to find out the hours they are opened? Where can I find the phone number? (phone book) Are the numbers just scattered every where in the book? How are they organized? (alphabetically) Why do they put it in alphabetical order? (easier to find) How many people think their phone number is in the phone book? (answers vary) Are your friends and families in the phone book? (answers vary) What other numbers can you find in the phone book? (schools, doctors, zoo, Wal-mart, plumbers)”

2. Hold up a phone book for your local area (the same one they will be using)

3. Ask students what color pages are in the phone book you are holding. (blue, yellow, white)

4. Explain that we will be working in the white section, which is the residential and business section. This is where people live and work.

5. Place the phone book in a pile of other reference books and large catalogs.

6. Walk away from telephone book and Think aloud (model) “I have to find the number to the skating rink to verify the time of the skating party.” Ask students, “Where do I find the number?” (In the phone book) Walk to the pile of assorted books and think aloud and ask “Hmmm, which one of these books is the phone book?” Pick up several wrong books (non-examples) talking aloud and saying “No, this is not a phone book.” Pick up the phone book and think aloud “Oh- this is the phone book!”

7. Ask students to walk over one by one to the pile of assorted books and find a phone book for themselves. After each student has picked up a phone book, verify that each student has the correct book. Tell them individually they did a great job for finding the telephone book. Document on Accomplished Checklist.

8. Have students turn to same page you will later be using on the overhead. Physically help as necessary. (Model) Point out location of guide words/names and remind them of the dictionary. Point out page number location. Point out how many columns of names there is in the phone book. Have each point theirs out in the phone book and visually verify each child. Document on Accomplished Checklist.

9. From the selected phone book page, enlarge and make a transparency of it. Pre-select several names from this page to use for modeling on the overhead. Complete the FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file) using selected names. Be sure to model finding each category and writing on the checklist.

10. Give students several names to look for on the same page you have been modeling and allow for practice of filling out their own copy of the checklist. (Remember some students may be at the supported or participatory level, and may need guidance and/ or assistance.)

(Possible Next Day, depending on time available and mastery.)
11. Ask student to locate phone book from the pile of assorted books.

12. Review and show the guide words in the telephone book and reference the dictionary. Review phone number and page numbers location. Count columns with students. This may be done through questioning and answering of students or think aloud methods depending on level of students.

13. Using the FindPhone#Chklst2 (see associated file), model by thinking aloud - how to find the phone number, the page number, the column and filling out the checklist.

14. With guided practice, the students do a few more on FindPhone#Chklst2 (see associated file), until you feel the students can proceed on their own. Locate the phone number, page number, and column through questioning and answering each student as equivalently as possible. Use Accomplish Checklists to ensure each child has been called on and answered successfully.

(Possible Next Day, depending on time available and mastery.)
15. Create as many checklists as needed from FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file), until you feel the student can accomplish the objective without modeling and guidance. This process is continual formative evaluation.

(Possible Next Day, depending on time available and mastery.)
16. Have student locate the phone number of the school, a local doctor (their own physician), skating rink, plumber, Social Security Office, Children and Welfare, Health Department or any other related to their local community if they are at the Independent Level. For the Supported and Participatory Level use FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file), to create this checklist on an overhead or individualize for each child.

17. If a summative evaluation is needed, another checklist can be developed from FindPhone#Chklst1 (see associated file).


Students identify a local telephone book and locate their own phone number, school’s phone number, hospital phone number, emergency phone numbers, and a list of real life phone numbers with 80% accuracy (Grocery stores, doctors, dentist, people’s names, plumber, Children & Families, and recreation parks).

Students are formatively assessed with three checklists (see attached file):

1. teacher models using checklist while child follows along (participatory level)
2. child self-assesses using checklist with teacher assistance as needed (supported level)
3. teacher assesses using checklist (independent level)


After children reach mastery, ensure students practice their newly acquired skills at least biweekly.

You may proceed to introduction of the yellow pages.

Attached Files

Accomplished Checklist.     File Extension: pdf

Find Phone # Checklist 1.     File Extension: pdf

FInd Phone # Checklist 2.     File Extension: pdf

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