Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Animal Books and Writing 7.27.16

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog is to give educational professionals
new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

One of my favorite things to do with nonfiction, is look at it for writing purposes.  I love finding books that go along with a concept teachers are teaching in their classroom, but that limits them from using some of the amazing nonfiction books that are available.  So instead I use them to look at writing structures or as writing mentor texts.

Here are two books about animals that have very different structures.

How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh?
How Much Does a Ladybug Weigh?
by Alison Limentani
Told in concept book format - this book shows comparisons in weight between animals.  What is the comparison between a ladybug and a fish?  Or a swan?  
Have students look at what information they learn about the animals using the number concept and comparisons.  How does this structure work for this book?

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move
Flying Frogs and Walking Fish
by Steve Jenkins
This time Jenkins organizes his book by looking at some of the amazing ways animals move.  Each section is organized by a big movement and then some describing words.  For example, under the section "A Leaping Lizard?", Jenkins looks at animals who have a special talent for moving in a flying sort of way!  Using more describing words, such as "jumping, pouncing, springing", Jenkins then spotlights a few animals that moves in that way.
Have students think about different ways they can organize a topic.  Encourage them to think outside of the box like Jenkins does!


  1. I often shared different books to show how others shared information that enhanced a written report, Michele. Thanks for sharing these two. I know the Steve Jenkins one, but not the other.

  2. I've been curious about the Steve Jenkins/Robin Page books. I know they'll be fascinated but it looks like too much text for me right now.

  3. I love the idea of using books themselves as teaching instruments, rather than just using the information inside the books. What a great idea for generating discussion and getting kids to think critically about the different ways information is presented, and how different methods of presentation might change how readers interact with information.

  4. Love looking at structures with my students, and discussing why the author may have chosen the structure, how it changes the reading experience, etc. Thank you for sharing these two :)

  5. This is so great to see how you use nonfiction texts to teach writing. There's such a great selection of recent well-written nonfiction picture books. Thanks for highlighting some!