Sorting Books by Genre + Freebie

We have been learning a lot about genre and the specifics of nonfiction, but I am out of the classroom this Friday and I want a fun activity for kids to work on that would give them the chance to sort lots of books without obliterating our class library, especially with a sub!

I originally saw this idea on Jen's blog, The Teacher's Cauldron, and knew it would be the perfect way to help kids *and* get rid of all of the catalogs that are already beginning to stack up in my room (bonus!). Students will be doing a Book Order Genre Sort!

I made up a quick freebie with blank genre lines that will allow me to use it anytime as we tackle more and more genres throughout the year. There are six sort spots in all and some short responses on the back:

We are using Rachel's Reading Genre and Text Types Display Posters and I love how the clue the kids into what sets apart one genre from another.

Click the picture to find these in her TpT Store :)

On Friday, we'll be sorting the books into six genres:

  • poetry
  • nonfiction
  • mystery
  • realistic fiction
  • animal fiction
  • fantasy
I'll start by writing in the genres myself on the lines provided and then making copies. Later in the year, I'll have the kids write them in themselves, but I want to make it easy for this first go-around.

Next, I'll have the sub review the characteristics of each and will also have the six posters displayed on our front board so kids can reference them throughout the sort. FYI- Rachel's pack has both "Informational" and "Reference" for Nonfiction,  but I've been having the kids lump them together for the time being until we get more specific as the year goes on :)

Then, the kids will get the packets and sort accordingly. In the directions, I ask them to be ready to explain their choices. This is because some books can fit into both, like Geronimo Stilton into mystery or animal fiction, and I want kids to be able to discuss and explain their selections.

At the end of the sort, I included a few questions to have them think about their own favorite genre as well as the books they read about during this activity. I obviously won't be sending these cut-up packets home for book orders, but our school's Book Fair is coming up and Scholastic always offers a ton of these books for sale, so I am hoping it can drum up some interest ;)

If you would like this freebie, please click HERE to get it from Google Docs. I hope you enjoy it and can use it as a quick way to help your kiddos understand genre! The fonts I used are from Jen Jones and the frames are from Creative Clips.

FYI-- I have uploaded my Interactive Health Notebook to TpT!

If you follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook, you have seen a few of the elements before! I will definitely be sharing some posts in the upcoming days all about the topics, interactive parts, and how I use them.

Each of these 45+ interactive note-catchers comes with a photo, description of how I use it in class, and resources to help. Be sure to download the Preview to see all of the topics covered and I hope this can help enhance your Health lessons this year!

Thanks so much and have a great week ahead!


  1. LOVE this idea, friend!! I can't wait to use that large stack of catalogs in back of my room!

    :) Abby
    Third Grade Bookworm

    1. Yay! So glad I'm not the only one who has a stockpile ;) Enjoy!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sara! I love watching my kiddos use these to track their own understanding of a Health concept-- plus, it's way more fun than worksheets ;)

  3. Replies
    1. You bet! So glad you can use it-- I hope your kids enjoy the sort :)

  4. This is fantastic! I have a book order center for my reading rotation and this will be perfect! Thanks!!

  5. Stephanie, What a TERRIFIC idea! I get WAY to many book orders and don't ever get to send all of them home. Now I know EXACTLY what I will do with them! Thanks!

    Ms. Smith
    Adventures of Ms. Smith

  6. I'm totally going to do this sort! I was just thinking that I needed to do the fiction and non-fiction I've seen on Pinterest, but love this way so much more! :) Thanks!

    The Journey of a Beginning Teacher

  7. Great way to reinforce the genres we've been learning!

    Teach on a Limb

  8. Thank you for the sorting activity sheets!

  9. What a creative idea on the genre book order sort! I'm actually doing a book order "sort" of sorts today but we're looking for singular and plural nouns :) Amazing what a little sheet of paper can do! Thank you for the freebie.

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  10. Stephanie,
    I'm new to teaching third grade this year and I totally don't know what I'd do without! Thanks for all the awesome ideas. :)

  11. The genre sort activity is perfect to put in my emergency sub tub. Thanks!