November 23, 2016

Reinforcing Genre with Book Club Flyers

Throughout the year I've maintained a genre wall. We talk about genre all the time during the daily read aloud and mini lesson.  It feels at times, however, no matter how many times I've refer to our wall chart, it doesn't sink in well. While most can identify fiction vs. non-fiction, picking apart different sorts of fiction can be tricky.
On the day before break I had a roomful of antsy kids. What do to to keep them engaged and learning? I pulled out my book order stash and integrated them into my literacy block. I want to see how well they could identify genre on their own. I explained their three options prior to letting them loose cutting, sorting and gluing:

Giving kids the freedom to create their own book sort allowed them to 'buy into' the project.  The kids took all sorts of approaches for the 'create your own genre sort' option. One was Harry Potter vs. other chapter books I'd consider reading....
It allowed for differentiation, collaboration and independent thought.

No matter the genre they chose, regardless of their reading level and confidence - those cuties were actively talking about books. There were so many teachable moments that arose. Book blurbs aren't just for the back of books. Kevin Henkes wrote that too?! Is the Who Would Win series fiction or non-fiction?

During the 30 minute activity I was easily able support both those struggling with the basic concept of fiction vs. non-fiction and those who pushed themselves to go beyond. I referred to my genre bulletin board over and over when kids had questions. It was also great to see kids using it independently and talking to friends about the genre of a specific book. 

I also love bringing out book orders during my math block:
We round prices, estimate the total of a wish list, put books in order according to price, add prices, subtract items. It's fun, engaging and real world thinking.

Book club flyers arrive in my mailbox on a fairly regular basis. I don't send home the orders as often as I once did, but they remain a valuable resource for incorporating real life skills in the classroom. On occasion I'll pick up additional grade level or focus flyers from the community table so I have a variety of flyers on hand.
Yes, the room was a disaster when we were finished but it was engaging and worthwhile. The clean up was quick and we got through the afternoon prior to a break with authentic learning in place.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think!