Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 705169 times)

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Luci

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Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?

Teachers and librarians attempt to. Some student's heads are more like sieves than steel traps when it comes to some things. And as parents grow up, more stuff seems to fall out of their heads if it isn't used.

Don't despair! Most of the kids know a lot of things. It's the just the thing they forget that calls attention to itself!

MommyPenguin

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I remember it taking me the longest time to remember the difference between nonfiction and fiction, and between autobiography and biography, when I was in elementary school.  It took much repetition of needing to figure out which was which (occasionally I'd look at the shelves of biographies and autobiographies to figure out which shelf was obviously written by the person and which was obviously written by other people) before I really had them straight.  I ended up becoming a librarian.  :)  That said, that was elementary school, when kids are still solidifying their knowledge of left and right.  It wasn't high school, and it certainly doesn't absolve parents (who presumably either graduated high school or at least got GEDs) from having picked it up at some point.  I think it's indicative of a non-reader.  It isn't important if you don't read.

Carotte

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I remember it taking me the longest time to remember the difference between nonfiction and fiction, and between autobiography and biography, when I was in elementary school.  It took much repetition of needing to figure out which was which (occasionally I'd look at the shelves of biographies and autobiographies to figure out which shelf was obviously written by the person and which was obviously written by other people) before I really had them straight.  I ended up becoming a librarian.  :)  That said, that was elementary school, when kids are still solidifying their knowledge of left and right.  It wasn't high school, and it certainly doesn't absolve parents (who presumably either graduated high school or at least got GEDs) from having picked it up at some point.  I think it's indicative of a non-reader. It isn't important if you don't read.

But, they're good old regular words!
Don't tell me the entire english speaking world doesn't use the words fiction/fictional beyond the fiction shelf of the library?

I know that kids and adults  sometime have trouble knowing what is fiction and what is not ("so, did unicorns ever exist? what about Narwhals?", "we sent a robot on Mars, did we sent people too like on the moon?") - but they should still know what fiction
means.

Just to add, we were visiting friends of the family who are hosting other friends, amongst whom is a 6 y/old boy. We were watching the BBC Who's the new Doctor show extravaganza, and the boy kept asking if it was real or not. I was thinking "if only ><"
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 03:02:59 PM by Carotte »

MommyPenguin

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We don't use those words much outside of books, though.  People don't often refer to movies as fiction and nonfiction much (they do sometimes, just not commonly).  As for talking about unicorns or whatever, people often say "imaginary," that sort of thing.  Or they say something is "made-up" and didn't really happen.  I've rarely heard people say "fiction" or "nonfiction" unless they are referring to a book.

Twik

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Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?

I once spent half an hour trying to convince a clerk in a bookstore that autobiographies would *not* be found under Fiction.

(Yes, I thought she was joking until she dragged me over to Fiction and would brook no argument.)
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Slartibartfast

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Quote from: Carotte

Just to add, we were visiting friends of the family who are hosting other friends, amongst whom is a 6 y/old boy. We were watching the BBC Who's the new Doctor show extravaganza, and the boy kept asking if it was real or not. I was thinking "if only ><"

Google maps says it is!  (Click the double arrow toward the police box.)

Amara

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Non fiction isn't too tough.  But fiction?

1984 was the very first thing to pop into my head. But what fun making this list would be! I'd probably choose both 1984 and The Pencil as both relate to technology but are really the psychological, cultural and social surrounding them.

Library Dragon

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Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?

Teachers and librarians attempt to. Some student's heads are more like sieves than steel traps when it comes to some things. And as parents grow up, more stuff seems to fall out of their heads if it isn't used.

Don't despair! Most of the kids know a lot of things. It's the just the thing they forget that calls attention to itself!

Kids often default to, "Do it for me mode."

I've probably told this story before. When I was a school librarian a teacher complained that I didn't teach students how to use the library, the difference between fiction and non-fiction, etc. She brought in a student to find a book report book.  He said he didn't know how to find one on the topic.  She started to do it for him, but I stopped her and challenged him to think about it.  What would the Dewey section would that topic be in?  He immediately went there and after a few minutes had found several that met the criteria for the report.

They are often taught this, but especially in the presence of parents, want to be spoon fed.

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Yarnspinner

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What age are the kids, Yarnspinner?  I remember a fun series about a girl who wanted to be a reporter and was a reporter at her school.  She tried to do an Internet search on the school library computer and was very annoyed and all up in arms about the computer having a parental block on it.  The injustice!  Until she went home to try her search, received some *very* inappropriate results that she couldn't unsee, and realized why the library computer had such a block.  More of an older elementary/middle school age book, though, not HS.

Sounds like a very fun and entertaining series.  Unfortunately, we are talking high school sophomores....but I will file this away just in case!

Yarnspinner

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I remember it taking me the longest time to remember the difference between nonfiction and fiction, and between autobiography and biography, when I was in elementary school.  It took much repetition of needing to figure out which was which (occasionally I'd look at the shelves of biographies and autobiographies to figure out which shelf was obviously written by the person and which was obviously written by other people) before I really had them straight.  I ended up becoming a librarian.  :)  That said, that was elementary school, when kids are still solidifying their knowledge of left and right.  It wasn't high school, and it certainly doesn't absolve parents (who presumably either graduated high school or at least got GEDs) from having picked it up at some point.  I think it's indicative of a non-reader.  It isn't important if you don't read.

But fiction/nonfiction can apply to movies as well and I have met seemingly normal adults who cannot tell those apart, either.  I'm reminded of the bit from "tremors" where Kevin Bacon says something about "Yeah, everyone knows about these things and we werre just keeping it from you."  Seemingly normal people who have good jobs and appear lucid in every other way cannot wrap their minds around the notion that Star Wars is not an intergalactic PBS documentary about the Skywalker family.  Yep, there are gigantic starships out there blowing each other up and you haven't h eard about it because we have been hiding it from you.

PeterM

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But fiction/nonfiction can apply to movies as well and I have met seemingly normal adults who cannot tell those apart, either.  I'm reminded of the bit from "tremors" where Kevin Bacon says something about "Yeah, everyone knows about these things and we werre just keeping it from you." 

Tremors fan! I knew there was a reason I liked you.

I don't have too much issue with people not knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction. It seems remarkably obvious to me, but what the heck. What always gets to me is how hard it is for some people to grasp the difference even when it's explained to them. Real vs. made up doesn't strike me as a difficult concept. I mean, sure, there are things like historical fiction starring real people, and I get that books like that might confuse the terms. But I don't think it's hard to understand that "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" is a made-up story about a real person.



kherbert05

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More "My Kid Waited All Summer to Read the Books He was Supposed To"  parents (and their kids):

A teacher at one of the local academies  assigned his or her students to read two books for the summer.  Two books of their own choice.  One had to be fiction, one had to be nonfiction and both had to have a theme relating to technology some how.  Of course, the teacher did not tell the public library about this, so we have had a stream of angry parents through who want us to find the bestest possible books fo their children.  The children, on the other hand, want the shortest and easiest books.  And, oh, if they could all be sitting in one spot labeled fiction and non fiction books on technology, even better.

One of my coworkers tried to make a cart of both fiction and non fiction books linked somehow to technology.

Non fiction isn't too tough.  But fiction?  I convinced one kid that CHerie Priest's "Boneshaker" had cool steampunk technology in it, so he went with that and something about the industrial revolution.

Others not so easy.  Especially the Mamma who kept holding up two non fiction books and asking which one was fiction.  Or she would pick out two fiction books.  And then asked "What's the difference?"  "Fiction is a made up story."  "Oh, okay.  So he can read Steve Jobs' biography for fiction and this Dummies book on computers for non fiction."  "No, he can't." 

Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?
Yes we do teach the difference between fiction and nonfiction


Realistic fiction =/= to nonfiction is hard for the kids to understand. Honestly books that present science and or history inside a fiction story makes it confusing. Example - Magic School Bus books. We use them to teach science concepts because they have good information that 2nd graders can understand. Still they are fiction - but they are often grouped with the topic books in a classroom library.

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Dazi

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Non fiction isn't too tough.  But fiction?

1984 was the very first thing to pop into my head. But what fun making this list would be! I'd probably choose both 1984 and The Pencil as both relate to technology but are really the psychological, cultural and social surrounding them.

You could go with some of the Classic writers

Isaac Asimov
Jules Verne
H.G. Wells
Aldous Huxley
George Orwell
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