Amy came to me with an idea to create a Survivor style group challenge. After putting our heads together we had the perfect plan. It required a lot of prep work on our part, but it paid off. We selected books from the seven different genres then created a card for each book. The front of the card displayed the cover of the book, the summary from the inside flap and a sample page was glued on the back. Amy cut and covered seven large shoe boxes in different colored paper.
We assigned students to five different groups. Each group was given a set of cards and were challenged to figure out the genre for each book. Students had to work as team to complete the challenge. This was tricky because some of the books could fit in more than on genre. Since our library's fiction collection is organized by genre, Amy had a great idea that we could place boxes in the genre sections to get students moving around the library. We awarded points based on the number of correct responses.
Once all of the teams finished depositing their genre cards into boxes, Amy and I pulled out the cards and discussed the results with the whole class. What makes this book fantasy? What words in the description made you think this was a mystery?
The genre challenge was a huge hit with students, and it met the objectives Amy and I had set. Students had rich discussions about the elements of genres, all students were engaged, and they worked as teams. Some students even asked to check out books they had read about on the genre cards.