Should it stay? Should it go?

On Monday, I posed this simple question to my group of third graders. The "it" I was referencing was a book from our library collection. The book in question was from the non-fiction section and was titled Computers.

We browsed the book. We read the captions. We skimmed the paragraphs. We looked for, but could not find, a table of contents. 

  • "I've never seen a computer like that!"
  • "There's really not much information in this book."
  • "That book should go- it doesn't have many details."
Me: "So what do you look for in a book?"
S: "Something that helps me learn. Something that teaches me."
Me: "Does it matter when the book was written?"

The last question left them puzzled, until I showed them that the book in question was written in 2004! We moved onto another book: Timeline of the Computer. It had lots of details. It had good facts,and taught them things.  And then, the final chapter: What Computers will be like in the future.

Intrigued, we read that chapter together- and wouldn't you know,  every single "someday" has already come true? Yup, you guessed it, another book from 2004. 

So why did I do this with my students? To discuss sources. Sources matter. We discussed what types of sources there are~ and we discussed which types of sources we would use for what kinds of purposes. And, that we should never use just one source~ but a variety! 

PS. They decided both should go. Along with 4 others we reviewed! Why, because they had a chance to think and discuss, and evaluate the options.


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