What kinds of books do you like to read the most? Why?
If you were to create your own personal library, what categories of books would you include? What are some books you would include in each category?
In what way, if any, do you think traveling libraries have promoted literacy in the places they visited?
According to the article, digital technology allows anyone to create his or her own ultimate traveling library. Do you think e-books will someday make libraries themselves obsolete? Why or why not?
- Point out that people identify with books for many different reasons. Perhaps they share personality traits with one of the characters. Or maybe they're going through a situation similar to one described in the book. Sometimes the connection is strong and other times it's not. But that connection helps readers relate to the story at hand.
- Encourage students to select a book that they most identify with. Instruct them to write a short scene in which they insert themselves as characters in the story.
- Have students write a brief summary explaining why they identify with this book and how their character's storyline might eventually unfold.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Invite students to find onsite resources on subjects ranging from agriculture to zoology with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the digitization component of the Encyclopedia of Life. This consortium of 12 major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries and research institutions is organized to digitize, serve and preserve the legacy literature of biodiversity.
Through this lesson plan from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students explore the relationship between the form of books and the content inside. They “author and publish” a book using both ancient and modern binding techniques that relate to the content of their writing.
These lessons from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access introduce students to the lives and works of Louisa May Alcott and Samuel Clemens through portraits a well as through their writings. Students come away with a better understanding of how the events of one’s life can be an inspiration for creative writing.
This lesson from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries accompanies “Paper Engineering,” an exhibition on pop-up books. The site includes detailed illustrated instructions to guide students as they make their own pop-up books on historical subjects.
This virtual portal to the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ extensive collections and resources features on-line exhibitions, digitized books and bibliographies.
This Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum lesson requires high school students to identify and analyze the effectiveness of propaganda, rhetoric and satire as they read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” Students campaign as one of the animals in the book: making speeches, cartoons and brochures to rally for their views. The lesson culminates in a voting process to assess the success of their attempts at persuasion.
This exhibit of books from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries discusses the collection, exhibition and preservation habits of early museums, galleries and their libraries. It includes enlarged images of many resources.