Encyclopedia Skills

  1. What is an encyclopedia?
  2. How do you use an encyclopedia?
  3. How do you spell “En -cy – clo -pe -dia”?
  4. How do you reference information from an encyclopedia?

Can you answer these questions? Then you are ready to enter the competition!

Thanks to a community funding grant from Meridian Energy – we have just received a brand new 2015 , 22 volume, hard copy set of World Book Encyclopedias!

 We are running  a competition open to all students to promote understanding and use of encyclopedias. The first 20 students with a correct entry can choose a brand new book from our special “Book Prize Shelf”.

Entry forms are at Te Rapunga.

Ask your teacher if you can do some practice activities in your library time, from the “Encyclopedia Skills” box.

In the red box is a set of cards each with a letter of the alphabet. For example “A” – one side of the card is blank to write your own “A” question and the other side has an example from the competition e.g. “what is an aardvark?”

World Book Encyclopedia Competition Term 1 2015Name:…………………………………………….. Class:………………………………….. Date:………………………………..
Letter Question Answer Reference
1 “A” What is an aardvark? “Aardvark is an African mammal that eats ants and termites.”OR World Book Encyclopedia (2015) Volume A-1 Page 2
“The aardvark, or “earth pig,” is one of Africa’s strangest animals. Its thick body is thinly covered with stiff hair. “ Encyclopedia Britannica Online http://school.ebonline.co.nz/levels/middle/article/272671- Accessed 19 March 2015)


To complete an entry you must:

1. write down and answer 5 of the questions from the list provided,  using a quote from either World Book Encyclopedia (2015) or from Encyclopedia Britannica (School) Online,


2. write down the reference detail for the quote. If you use Encyclopedia Britannica online, write down the date you accessed it in the reference.


Below is an article from the School Libraries Service about our free access to Encyclopedia Britannica:


“Encyclopedia Britannica Online- Get it Free!

29 January 2013 | Author: Anthea

Encyclopedia Britannica Online is a good place for students to get an overview of their topic at the beginning of an inquiry. Instead of searching through masses of websites, students can find reliable, up to date information at Encyclopedia Britannica Online.  Younger students can search a simpler version with reading levels suitable for primary and intermediate ages. The Britannica interface is similar to a website with search and graphical browsing options.”


To log on and use Encyclopedia Britannica (School) Online

Free Webinar training on Encyclopedia Britannica Online

User Guide for Britannica – worth a browse if you want to use it to best effect!

Please find attached the:

Entry Form – World Book Encyclopedia Competition Term 1 2015

Competition Questions – choose 5 to answer

For teachers only – please survey or ask us to survey your students, before they undertake the Encyclopedia Skills Activity and/or enter the competition.   Here is a copy of the  Encyclopedia Student Survey 19 March 2015   .For younger students or non-readers/writers, please complete one survey for the class, by reading it out and getting a show of hands for the response! Thanks!