I am excited to join Alyson Beecher and other friends in this weekly challenge. Finding great nonfiction picture books isn't a challenge anymore, there are so many wonderful books to be read now! The challenge is sharing them with as many people as possible so they can find this wealth of literature to share with our young readers. Thanks to Aly for starting this weekly link-up and thanks to all who join in! See all of the posts at kidlitfrenzy.
Capstone has been busy lately. They have been adding a lot of books to their collection - both nonfiction and fiction and many different series - but they've also added a lot to their digital literacy with their Pebble Go program. Melissa Stewart wrote a great post about it last week.
I recently found a new biography series by them for younger readers. The two series that I found at my library were Great African-Americans and Great Women in History. The books are intended for students reading at approximately second grade reading level (levels K-N). The books are divided into chapters, and each chapter heading is in chronological order with titles that make clear sense to young readers - "Early Life", "Young Adult", "Life's Work", "Later Years" are some examples. At the bottom is a running timeline. Each biography starts with a strong introduction and conclusion. Some of the introductions went right into the person's early life with a quick summary sentence about what they were famous for. The conclusion also summarized why their life had been important.
The end notes includes a glossary, index and information about where to find more information (in books) and an internet site that is sponsored by Capstone. This site allows you to search by subject or by a book code. For example, after reading the Booker T. Washington book, there is a code in the back that you can enter into facthound.com. This code leads to other websites about the subject. The websites have all been checked out by the publisher, although I did find that some of the websites opened up ads, if you allow popups. Some of the books include "critical thinking questions using the common core". The questions do align with CCSS (it also tells you which type of standard the question addresses) and can be used in a discussion.
These books would be great to use in a primary level classroom when doing a biography unit. The books are engaging and easy to read. Whether using them for research or for interest, they would be a welcome addition!
Some of the books in the series:
Today is also the day we're checking in for our #mustreadin2015 books! I wrote about setting goals and what they mean to me in this challenge. Check out my post here.