We know that a big part of the CCSS is to include more informational texts into our students' reading. I quickly discovered I had a "gap" in my reading diet - the genre of informational texts! To help me fill the gap this year, I am going to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesdays! This is a great link-up hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. Please visit this website to see other educator's link-ups. My goal is to read at least one informational text each week and post information on the blog. The more books and subjects I read, the more I can encourage (my #OLW for 2014) other teachers to use in their classroom!
I'm going to spotlight 2 books today. One for Science and one for Social Studies.
The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins
This book is amazing. I think younger and older students will POUR over this book. Younger readers will soak up the illustrations, older students will be fascinated with the facts and illustrations. I was a little worried with the size of this book. It's very big, very thick. I'm not much of an animal person, much less someone who would pick up an animal book to read. If it wasn't for the fact that this was Steve Jenkins, I would have probably skipped over it. The facts were fascinating. The amount of writing about each animal at a manageable size. The organization was impeccable. Kids can skip to certain parts that interest them the most. Read a few pages, read the whole section, or read the whole book. I think kids will enjoy looking at the illustrations (done in true Steve Jenkins style) and talk about the facts. Some are interesting, some are gross, some are unbelievable. Jenkins also includes interesting information about how he goes about and puts his research together when writing a book. He gives descriptions, photographs and even timelines to show his process!
Great addition to your home or classroom.
Classroom Connections: Use a page for close reading. Talk about similarities and differences between the animals.
4th gr. NGSS: Structure, Function and Information Processing (LS1-1, LS1-2)
3rd gr NGSS: Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Life Cycles and Traits (LS3-1, LS4-2)
Deep in the Sahara Kelly Cunnane
Although this story is actually a fiction story, I am putting it in the nonfiction category today because of the connection to traditional Muslim customs.
Beautiful story that explains the tradition of the Muslims' traditional dress for women, the malafa. Use this book to inference the meaning of new words (traditional Hassaniya words) and look for patterns that the author used to describe the beautiful dress. The author included a great note that gives the reader additional information about the dress.
Classroom Connections: Figure out the meaning of the traditional Hassaniya words using the text and illustrations. Check inferences using the glossary in the back.
Throughout the story, the author uses additional words to describe the meaning of the dress. Use these descriptions to talk about what the dress stands for in the Muslim society.
CCSS: standard RL.4 and RL.7
And I finally read:
Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animals Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
Numbers your thing? This is a book to check out! The author has written about different animals' specific activity and averaged it over the animal's lifetime. I liked how the author included additional notes on each animal and explained the word "average" and how averaging works.