As a classroom teacher, I liked to involve children with setting up the classroom library. There were books organized by level, by author, by genre, by series, and by topic or theme. It was interesting to see that a book could belong to more than one category; with plenty of people using the library, sometimes we needed to look in two baskets to find something. The year I had the kids overhaul the nonfiction section of our library, creating categories that made sense to them, was a year the library worked so well. Since they were invested in it, they took care of it.
My initial goal for this post was to finally create book lists I want (to help support my ever deflating memory): dog books, bunny books, books with characters who write, books with strong grandmothers, funny books, books with interesting structure...
I was planning on gathering the dog books in a basket for my house for the kids. Yesterday, without knowing this, Francis looked up at me said,"You know what? I am really interested in spiders." And the dog books didn't seem very pressing (until my next Colby Dog Story time).
It's just like setting up the library: if kids do it themselves, it means more. I could work my tail off and gather dog books, but right now- he's thinking spiders. I know I could sell the dog books (with Colby's help), but the spiders will sell themselves. If we gather together, instead of me gathering what I think he should read, we will work together to gather what he wants to find out about, which surely will be more meaningful to him.
So here we are, gathering books about spiders: fiction and nonfiction. (Holy cannoli, could I have asked for a better introduction to reading "Charlotte's Web?")
So- to be delivered soon, a spider book list by Francis.