My family has gotten into the habit of watching Jeopardy at 7:30pm each night. My daughter, Anne and my husband, Brian, are very good at stating the questions to the random answers posed by Alex Trebek. At the beginning of Round 1 and 2, Anne and Brian will often say aloud words they expect to appear as Alex names the categories:
Alex – Old Testament
Anne – Who is Noah, Moses, Job?
Alex – Buildings of the World
Brian – What is the Louvre, The Empire State Building, Falling Water?
They seem to have go-to words that match a stated category.
As I continue to plan the 3rd grade information writing unit, I see a connection. I have been taking TCRWP suggestions to think of ways, kinds, parts, pro/con, problem/solution, and compare/contract to think deeper about my topic.
What if I think of my topic as a category on Jeopardy?
My topic: Children’s Literature.
If the category was Best Nonfiction Children’s authors, I’d expert Jeopardy to have an answer about Seymore Simon, Gail Gibbons and Melissa Stewart.
If the category was Best Picture book authors for 3rd gr. and up, I’d expect Jeopardy to have an answer listed about Patricia Polacco, Chris Van Allsburg, and Eve Bunting.
If the category was Best Children’s Poets, I’d expect Jeopardy to have an answer listed about Judith Viorst, J. Patrick Lewis and Jack Prelutsky.
What if my topic was SWIMMING? Would this strategy still work?
If the category was kinds of pools, I’d expect Jeopardy to have answers that included 50 meter outdoor, 25 meter indoor and 25 yards outdoor.
If the category was swimming strokes, I’d expect Jeopardy to have answers that included butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and IM.
If the category was swimming parts, I’d expect Jeopardy to have answers that included the dive, the turn, the kick, the strokes and the breathing.
As TCRWP taught me, my brain is wired to learn things when grouped into categories. That is why Boxes and Bullets is such a successful strategy when reading and writing information. And now, I also will think of my information writing topic as a Jeopardy Game Show Category.
What answers would Alex Trebek state about my topic?!!