What is a shell book?

 
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Introduction
 

Shell books are a good way of producing a lot of reading materials relatively easily and inexpensively. They are well suited to certain situations and types of literature. They are not, however, the way to an "instant" body of literature.

Definition
 

A shell book is a book or other kind of reading material produced from a prepared shell. It is usually one of several books of the same title produced in different dialects or languages.

Benefits
 

Here are some benefits of using shell books to produce literature:

 
  • You can quickly produce a lot of materials in many languages.
  • You can spend less time in researching, designing, and illustrating materials.
  • You can share good ideas, information, and artwork with others who need it.
  • They help make the literature production task less overwhelming, especially in the beginning stages of a literacy program and in multilanguage literacy campaigns.
  • They are well suited for the intermediate stage of a literacy program where simple materials are needed.
Warning
 

Although shell books are an excellent way to increase literature production in some situations, you must be careful in your choice and use of them.

 
  • Do not assume that a shell book that is interesting and acceptable to one community will be so to another.
  • Do not rely on shells for all the materials in a literacy program. Shell books represent only a part of the materials needed for a literacy program.
Kinds
  Here are some kinds of shell books:
 
  • Small books for individual use
  • Books for libraries or small group use
  • Big Books for large groups
  • Charts
  • Posters
Examples
 

Here is an example of a shell and a shell book:

 

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Page content last modified: 25 October 1999

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