Intentionally, I chose books about people who could easily fit into more than one of our new biography categories. Does Anne Frank belong in World War II/Holocaust? Authors? Perseverance? Famous Women? What about Sally Ride? Astronaut or American History? The most surprising revelation to come out of the activity was related to a biography of Louis Braille. Only 3 of the 18 student groups placed him in the Perseverance category where the book was shelved. Instead, groups overwhelmingly put him in the Scientists/Inventors groups. Since the point of genrifying the biographies was to make them more accessible to students, I made the switch. If students believe Braille is more recognized as an inventor, then the biography should be relocated.
Next, it was time to introduce the actual assignment. Students first took a look at what was expected of them:
- 3 main ideas about the tic-tac-toe assignment,
- 1question they have.
Next, it was time to explore the biography bookshelves and the databases themselves. This gave students some time to browse the new arrangement of the biography collection, in addition to some time in databases they may not have used previously. Classes broke into two groups, and students had directions to follow as they worked in both groups.