Picking a Winner: Children as Judges and Evaluators of Picture Books.Report as inadecuate

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Each year the Bank Street School for Children (New York City) gives the Irma S. and James H. Black Award to the author of a children's book. What sets this award apart from others is that children are involved in the selection of the winning book. Some notes on how that selection process is managed can be helpful to teachers in all schools, whether an actual award is given to the selected author or not because selecting a best book is a pedagogically fruitful task in itself. It stimulates excitement and worthwhile questions and discussions. At the Bank Street School, the evaluation process was revised. Initially, four children from each of the four classrooms in the intermediate classrooms were selected; they rotated as the year went on so more than 12 children had a chance to make selections. Each week each of the 12 chose books from a list and then reported on them the following week. Since children had difficulty making discriminations between those they had read, it became necessary to force them to choose the one they liked best that week. At the end of the year, both the director of this program and the children decided they did not like the process. A new process the following year began with a list trimmed to 35 or 40 by adult readers. The 35 or 40 books were then divided into four groups and rotated through the four classrooms weekly. At the end of each week the children were asked to vote for their three favorite books. (TB)

Descriptors: Childrens Literature, Elementary Education, Literary Awards, Literature Appreciation, Picture Books, Selection, Student Participation, Teacher Role

Author: Greengrass, Linda

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=8788&id=ED375425

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