Each year in the winter and spring, third graders are challenged with reading books from a variety of literary genres. Between January and May, they read a different genre each month and write a letter to “hallway readers” about their book selections. This project is an exploration that allows the students to discover the differences among the genres and how, sometimes, literary genres can overlap. Sharing their letters with classmates inspires them to choose genres for the upcoming months.
This year, students were asked to draw pictures to represent the various genres including science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and humor. Some students challenged themselves to depict biography, nonfiction, and poetry. Lower School Librarian Allison Peters says she was surprised at how many students drew pictures to represent romantic fiction after the giggling she heard when that literary genre was mentioned!
With the drawings completed, a parent volunteer stepped in to scan each one. The scanned drawings were then used to create bingo cards. Each card was comprised of 16 illustrations, and every card was different. When the students returned to the library, they were delighted to see their artwork on the bingo cards.
Then things got serious! With buttons as markers, the students played Genre Bingo. Several rounds later and with only ten minutes left in the class period, it was time to check out books. Several students left with new titles for their genre letters.