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Readers Advisory 2.0 - Collaborative Genre Prezis

One of the things I get asked to do each year is to talk to students about literary genres.  Not only do many Language Arts teachers at my school have students complete genre related independent reading projects, but often genre is a great way to either hook a new reader or start a readers advisory conversation.  Over the years, I've tackled this in different ways - doing book talks, creating bibliographies, showing book trailers, etc.  This year, however, I've decided to take this readers advisory standard to the next level by creating collaborative projects where students contribute to our collective knowledge of each genre.

As I have the opportunity to speak with students (both formally and informally) about genre, I invite them to contribute to the growing collection of Prezis that are being generated related to different types of books.  Students can add book trailers, reviews, artwork, fan fiction or you name it.  And now that Prezi affords users the opportunity to collaborate on projects, the sky is really the limit.  (I'm thinking of this as sort of a free version of what the Pottermore site promises to be - only without all the hassle of trying to make a bajillion (more) dollars).

Obviously, my role includes tempting students to contribute and moderating what they do share, but I've also started including links to our curated genre collages in my marc records.  Lately, I've been adding a 599 tag (which is a searchable local note) to related records and adding the link to titles in the specific genre.  For example, the other day I added 2 new copies of Divergent by Veronica Roth, and when I did, I made sure to add the link to our Sci Fi prezi in the 599 tag.  I already advise students to click on the subject headings when they find a book they like in our OPAC, so this seemed like a natural extension.  A few kids have already stumbled across them without my prompting.  It's fun to watch them discover it - like a hidden treasure.

Anyway, here are a few of the genres that we've been working on.  I'm excited about the potential in these projects and about the ability to make my reader advisory program a bit more substantive.  Further, even though Prezi is a favorite tech tool of teachers at my school, I've never thought of it as a curation tool... that is, until now! As always, what's mine is yours.  Feel free to use, remix, share and make these better.  Just keep in mind that they're a work in progress!


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