Way back in the summer, when we started planning this year’s Share a Story-Shape a Future Blog Event, we knew that we wanted to spend a day focusing on nonfiction reading. I immediately volunteered to host today’s event because nonfiction reading has been a personal focus for me this year. Over the past five years I’ve noticed that my middle schoolers frequently pass over nonfiction books because they tend to see them as “research books” and not something to be read for pleasure. This year I have made it a goal to include more nonfiction in my classroom and in my booktalks.
It’s working! I’ve had more students than ever pick up nonfiction books- biographies, memoirs, informational books, literary nonfiction, and everything in between. Access to nonfiction opens so many doors and today’s posters are here to help us find more doors and windows to open in the house of nonfiction reading with readers of all ages.
The Nonfiction Book Hook
There are two kinds of people in this world. Fiction and non-fiction.
Think about it. Some of us naturally prefer reading fiction (me) while others naturally prefer non-fiction (husband, eldest daughter). For those that are naturally inclined to non-fiction, they will read voraciously in that genre without needing much encouragement. If you’re not a natural in non-fiction, you may need some help to child to engage with and enjoy non-fiction. Let me give you some ideas.
A fourth grade teacher, Monica Edinger helps us look at nonfiction and its use in the classroom.
Melissa takes a look at a few series that are similiar to Little House (based on childhood memories, etc) but occur later in tieme and the different lessons they can teach.
In a recent Washington Post column, Jay Matthews brought to light the fact that middle and high school reading lists have very little nonfiction on them and that really bothered him. His column made me think: what if we began with our youngest learners? What are some ways we can introduce nonfiction into the lives of preschoolers?
The wonderful Anastasia Suen is here to help us hook new readers using nonfiction. It can be intimidating to find good nonfiction that new readers actually want to read, but Anastasia is here to guide us.
One of the best ways I have managed to “hook” my students on nonfiction is to use their natural curiosity. Many students have questions after reading a novel of any genre. Don’t we all? I know I have been caught more than once googling a topic that intrigued me in a novel. We need to grab on to our students’ natural curiosity, sink our claws in, and guide them toward answers. Forget the internet- the answers they seek can be found in nonfiction books!
Newspaper reading can be a really useful–and sneaky!–tool for incorporating nonfiction reading into the lives of our emerging readers. Great idea, Amy!
How do parents find nonfiction for early readers? There are plenty of picture books out there, but how does a parent find a nonfiction book that is interesting, not over their child’s head, and fun? Natasha shares the four most important thing she has learned.