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In this lesson students will learn what normalization is.  This lesson I teach near the beginning of the semester and it is so important that the students get this concept.  It is the core of relational databases and students struggle with this concept.  I took a systemic approach leading up to the introduction of this concept.  First they learned what a database is, then all of the parts and now how they can be linked together.  I think working in small groups has helped the students to learn this concept..  Also students see how differently each group designs a database.  This lesson falls under the NBPTS core number four; accomplished teachers think systemically about their practice and learn from experience.

Instructor’s Lesson Plan

Subject:  Introduction to Databases                                Instructor: Wendy Plourde

Title of Lesson:  Normalization

Time Period (Total): 1 hour 10 minutes

Type of Lesson:  Lecture/Demo/Group Work/Team Building

Place:  CEC 04

Training Aids:  Projector / Laptop, Database links.doc

Objectives: (1) Students will be able to explain what normalization is in a database.

                   (2) Students will be able to identify a normalized database.

                   (3) Students will be able to explain why a database should be normalized

                   (4) Students will be able to identify normalized relationships in tables.

Intelligences:  (S) Spatial  (LM) Logical-Mathematical  (M) Musical (L) Linguistic (IA) Intrapersonal (IE) Interpersonal  (B) Bodily-Kinesthetic


Lesson Outline

Intelligences and Aid Cues



What is Normalization?  Explain normalization in database.

(L) Students are called on to answer the question. (1)





A look at some Normalization!!

Demo of various types of databases on the internet.

(S) Database links.doc goes to a web site that has pictures of database designs (2)(4)


Use of a projector and the internet to give the students a visual



Talk about the characteristics of a Normalized database

(LM) Ask students what is the relationship to each table. What are the key fields?  (3)(4)





Select groups and have them move into groups.  Group selection by counting off.


(S)(B)(IE) Students work together to draw out a design of their own database idea on paper.



Have students Design a campus book store database.



About 5 minutes each to show their ideas to the class

(B)(LM) A person from each group explains their design.



 It is really interesting to see how each groups design is different.





Teaching normalization concepts to students is difficult.  In this lesson where students work together and share ideas the collaboration really seems to be helpful.  I have found that using cooperative learning groups can be a useful tool.  Most of the students seem to grasp this concept after the lesson.  Because this lesson is done in the beginning of the semester, the students are getting to know each other at the same time.  I really think it helps the climate of my classroom when the students know and work with each other.


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This site was last updated 07/12/06