Se7en’s 52 Week Challenge #1 – The Big Book Challenge…

Last year a number of followers asked us to blog about the sort of things we learnt about for family school. This year, to answer that question, we decided to create a challenge a week. Things we want to learn and create, discover and do, explore and examine. And we are sharing our challenges along the way. In each challenge we will try to include: Somewhere to visit; something to ask; something to learn; something to discover; something to make; something to work on; something to present and so on.

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We are starting off slowly with the things that we know best… and a book challenge seemed like a really good place for us to begin. Our library journey has been a long one, and we have blogged about getting to and fro and curbing the chaos of multiple children and books at the library before. In this challenge we wanted to learn how to find a book in the library. It is not as trivial as you might at first think.

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  1. An Outing to the Library:
  2. A visit to the library is part of our regular routine, but we did a quick explore around the library and found that it had a lot more to offer than the few shelves that we habitually visit each week. A map of the library would have been useful, but we figured out where the non-fiction books were, the school books, not to mention music, movies and even puzzles. While the picture books are not in alphabetical order (I have no idea why not), the beginner readers and chapter books are. Graphic novels are stored separately and so are series… there is a whole shelf of series. It certainly was worth taking a walk around and discovering things that were totally new to us.

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  3. The Challenge: Where to Find Any Book:
  4. Determine where to find a book on any topic, or a specific title, in the library. The best way to discover how to find something is to figure out how to put it away. All books in a library have a little sticker on the spine, with the books “address” on it. So we began with a question:

    Is the book Fiction or Non-Fiction?

    • Fiction books: Are stored in alphabetical order, so if you know the name of the author… you can head straight for the fiction shelves and work your way through the alphabet.
    • Non-Fiction books: Are stored according to category. The address of a non-fiction book, on the spine, looks a little more complicated with a string of numbers on it. Thsse numbers and categories are a system developed by a man named Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), who gave all categories and subcategories a number, an address say, between zero and a thousand.

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  5. Learn how the Dewey Decimal System Works:
  6. Now Dewey created a decimal system, which means things are divided into ten main sections and each section is divided into ten smaller sub categories and so on. It is not necessary to know every single sub category, but being familiar with the ten broad categories really does make it so much easier to find the book that you are looking for. If you look at the spine of a non-fiction book the first number in the hundred’s column, describes the Main Class of the book, the main category on the Dewey Decimal List. The next number, in the ten’s column describes the sub-class and the units number is the sub-sub class. The numbers after the decimal point, further refine the classification with in the section. Here’s an example:

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    Take a look at the spine address in the photograph above: The J indicates a book from the junior section of the library, the 6 indicates a book in the class of technology books, the 2 indicates in the division of engineering and the 1 indicates the section of engineering… within that section of books you can further divide the books into sub-sections, different materials used for instance, using the numbers after the decimal point. Below the number classification are three alphabetical letters and in the same way that each fiction book is stored in alphabetical order, according to the first three letters of the author’s surname, so non-fiction books are sorted, once they are categorised into their particular sub-category.

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  7. Something to Discover: A Library Scavenger Hunt…
    1. Can you find where the Dr. Seuss books are kept?
    2. Can you find a poem about the weather?
    3. Can you find a book whose author has the same initials as yours?
    4. Can you find a book about a person that you most admire?
    5. Can you find a map showing your favourite place to visit?
    6. Can you find a book about your favourite animal?
    7. Can you find a book that has a photograph of your home town in it?
    8. And the Se7en+1th Question

    9. What is the name of the librarian who checked out your books?

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  8. Make A Library Book Journal:
  9. Just plain old exercise books, and the covers were inspired by our own favourite books.

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  10. Make a Habit of Writing Down What We Have Read:
  11. Maintain a book reading list. This is something that we have done in fits and starts over time. I have always enjoyed looking back to see what I have read, and been really surprised at just how many books get read, slowly but surely. So we have decided to keep lists. If we write down every book we read for a month, and keep it going for a year, then maybe we will be in the habit of writing down books that we have read and enjoyed.

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  12. Something to Present:
  13. Convince us… anyway you like: acting, singing, baking (!), speaking… why we would want to read your favourite book.

    And the Se7en + 1th thing…

  14. The Journal Gallery:
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That’s it, Challenge #1. Next Week’s Challenge is a Kitchen Challenge…

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14 Replies to “Se7en’s 52 Week Challenge #1 – The Big Book Challenge…”

  1. Love this! I have told my kids that I think we need to start a book journal for them – up until grade 3 they have to write every book down for school but as A is in grade 4 now this will not happen anymore. I have kept one for years…

    Oh and thanks! Got our lovely prize in the post on Tuesday

  2. I loved this post! I used to work in a library so this is close to my heart. It’s great that you’re teaching the kids how to use the Dewey decimal skill and find things in the library. A very useful skill for readers, scholars, researchers, etc. 🙂

  3. Exploring different parts of the library is something I spend quite a bit of time doing with my 8-12 book club. We’ve had sessions in the local history area, we’ve searched for maps and music scores, newspapers, books for sale and more. This Feb, on National Libraries Day, I’m hiding crackers all over the library and the kids have to find them all, noting where they were found. The crackers have jokes suggested by authors in them, and the author’s name and book cover. They then have to find that book!

  4. Hay Cat, I have a couple of ancient school diaries, where I wrote down the books I was reading – I was looking back the other day – I tell you memory lane!!! My kids are very keen to fill up their books and we will see how it goes through the year!!! Hope you guys have a great weekend!!!

  5. Thank you GM, we had a lot of fun with this challenge. The kids really enjoyed discovering that there was actual meaning to the way that books were sorted in the library… not just grouped together in random spots. With information so available on-line nowadays, it is easy to forget that we still need these skills, because let’s face it… nothing beats a great book.

  6. Oh Zoe, That is a most excellent idea… after years of a terrifying librarian, we now have a team of lovely librarians… and I think they would love this idea. I have to say, anything with real authors just makes my day – I love bring the gap between authors and their readers closer and closer!!! Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

  7. Great post. I love your scavenger hunt idea. We must try it. I remember haveing my book lists. it was fun. Perhaps we’ll start that too. Lucky you for that huge library.

  8. Thank you Vida, it was a fun post to put together. And yes, we are very lucky to have such a fabulous library, we take books out week after week and almost never get the same books twice. Hope you have a lovely weekend!!!

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