OPERATION WORLD LITERACY

OWL Library Activity Sheet: Exploring the Fiction Collection

Exploring books in the library can be fun and it develops skills in accessing the best books for your own enjoyment. Finding the right book at the right time greatly increases your reading experience, which in turn builds confidence and reading proficiency. While the library catalogue and resources contains a lot of information for young readers to help them find the most suitable books, simply browsing the book shelves can be quite a rewarding experience on its own. The process is simple: Start by locating the most suitable collection for your reading level, then select the appropriate size or format of book to suite your immediate needs. Scan the front and back covers of the book for author, title and subject information, including the blurb or critiques. Continue to check the table of contents for a preview (albeit cryptic) of the storyline and the rear inside cover for an author profile. Thumb through the book observing any illustrations and reading snippets, here and there, of any dialogue. 

The fiction collection in the school library comprises young-adult fiction, junior and picture fiction.

"Fiction" describes a literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. Fiction books include many popular genres including: Action, Adventure, Classic, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Fable, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction in Verse, Folk Tales, Folklore, Historical Fiction, Horror, Humor, Jokes, Junior Fiction, Legend, Mystery, Mythology, Plays, Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction, Short Story, Suspense, Tall Tales and Thriller.

The fiction collection in the school library comprises young-adult fiction, junior and picture fiction.

Teacher Tasks

  1. Introduce the activity:
    1. "Today we will be exploring the fiction collection".
    2. "Who can tell me what a fiction book is"?
    3. "Who can give an example of a fiction book and a non-fiction book"?
    4. "Who can tell me what the "genre" of a fiction book is"?
    5. "Which of the two books I am holding is a fiction book"?
    6. "Everyone select a fiction book from the young-adult, junior or picture fiction collection (as appropriate for the year level)".
    7. "Follow the directions and answer the questions on the activity sheet provided." (See below)
    8. "Return to the group to discuss what you have discovered after ten minutes".
  2. Review and discuss individual student responses.
  3. Ask the class to identify the following information items on a sample book:
    1. Title (and extended title)
    2. Author
    3. Illustrator
    4. Subject Headings (see "Cataloguing in Publication Data")
    5. Genre (A detailed knowledge of genres is not expected)
    6. Publishing Date
    7. Blurb
    8. Critique
    9. About the Author/Illustrator
  4. Repeat the activity if time permits.
  5. Evaluate the activity as follows:
    1. Students understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction books
    2. Students can identify by name the information items above
    3. Students can preview a fiction book and answer simple questions about the book
    4. Students can use this technique to assess the suitability of a book for their own personal needs.

Student Tasks

  1. Select a fiction book. Look inside and outside of the front and rear covers and the first and last few pages of the book. Check the table of contents, thumb through the book stopping briefly to read here and there and then answer the following questions:
  1. What is the title of the book?
  2. Who is the author?
  3. What do you know about the author?
  4. Have any others commented on the book or the author?
  5. Has the author written any other books?
  6. What do you think the the book is about?
  7. Is the book illustrated?
  8. Do you think you would like to read the book? Why?

 

 OWL Agent SANDY
OWL Activity Officer