Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nonfiction vs Fiction? My Personal Common Core

I love it when the Sunday paper publishes an article about children and books (Tampa Bay Times, Sunday, December 9, 2012, Perspective 6P, "What Should Children Read?") It makes me so happy to know that someone CARES, that someone is PAYING ATTENTION. And more importantly, that someone is agreeing with me!

For years I've thought that there was a prejudice in the use of nonfiction materials to teach reading. They weren't included on reading lists, and when kids picked them out to read for reports, teachers would sometimes refuse to allow them. 

"You're just looking at the pictures," teachers complain. The answer? Find a book on the subject at the child's level, that he can read. He wants to look at pictures of snakes? Find a book about snakes he can read. With pictures. When he's finished, ask him what he's learned about snakes.
I've got a lot of books about snakes. And horses.

Here are some more of my favorite new titles: 
Zombies are acted upon by the laws of physics just like anyone else, and this book really spealls it out in a way even a zombie librarian could understand. There's a whole series of these, and this one's a fave.
Some more nonfiction fun-to-reads:
Mike Venezia's biographies about scientists, presidents, artists and musicians, are illustrated with funny cartoons as well as period photographies. They're super funny and a pleasure to read.

Think it was fun to build pyramids and march in the Confederate Army and pilot the Mayflower? Think again! These books spell out all the appalling details of life in various historical eras, from coal mining to being mummified. They're short, funny and by the time you're through reading them, you have a bit of a background of a wide field of history.

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