Ben's class has a reading call where they talk about different parts of books, and listening in on it gives you some interesting things to think about.
Discussing the difference between characters and settings made me wonder if I could think of a book where the two overlapped. We recently read "The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body" to the kids, and if you asked whether Arnold was a character or a setting, you might have to say both.
They also talked about internal vs. external character traits, and the line between the two is grayer than you think. Like, is "king" an internal or external character trait? I could see a story where it starts off external, but by the end, it's internal too
And then there's fiction vs. nonfiction. I took issue with a lot of the items in their columns of how to recognize fiction or nonfiction. The first items—fiction is made up and nonfiction isn't—is straightforward enough, but the others...
"Fiction has a beginning, middle and end. Nonfiction can be read in any order." What about biographies? Or historical books? I guess they were thinking about textbooks or something.
"Fiction has characters and a setting. Nonfiction doesn't." See above.
"Fiction is read for fun, nonfiction is read to get information." I'll have you know I read plenty of nonfiction for fun and not necessarily for the information. Because I promptly forget everything I learned from the book within two days anyway.
"Fiction has illustrations. Nonfiction has photographs." That's just false.
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Today they read an inspiring book by a very well-meaning fellow. It was about how everyone is special and it was called "You Matter."
Teacher: "Okay, class. Was 'You Matter' fiction or nonfiction?"
Me: *pained, existential expression*