Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Sibert results

(photo credit to Sarah Brannan)

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

Were you surprised with the results of the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday?  These fabulous books won the Sibert Award and Honors:



Here is my prediction post from last week.  I also gave an update on our Mock Sibert/Sibert Smackdown.  This week I wanted to share the culminating project.

In a time when we find it hard to get everything done in a school day that needs to be done, that we're not sure if it needs to be done but feels like it should be done, and things that we want to get done - it's hard to know what exactly to teach.  Because somewhere in all of that, it seems like we need to teach everything.  I see so many teachers shy away from doing Mock units, so many say they are just too busy, say it's just an extra thing. I beg to differ.  Just take a look.

Over the course of two and a half weeks, students have been listening to texts, determining which books mean criteria and support their thinking using Sibert criteria.  This past week, my third grade reading intervention students looked back at the notes they took and chose the book they thought was most worthy of winning the Sibert Award.  Next step was to go back to the criteria sheet and revisit the books on their own, see if they needed to add any additional information.  Next, they wrote about their selection.  They wrote why it deserved the Sibert Award, citing textual evidence and criteria in their writing.  Students also added what they learned about the topic into their writing - picking out key details and explaining this new learning.  Finally, students were able to record a video.  On the video they read their findings and shared a page that really wowed them.  The videos were compiled to a Padlet page so they could listen to each other's choices and share them with parents and other classmates.

Made with Padlet

If you needed more evidence that a Mock unit is the way to go, take a look at how many 3rd grade standards this unit used:

  • RI.3.1 - ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers
  • RI.3.2 - determine the main idea of a text, recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea
  • RI.3.5 - use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently
  • W.3.4 - with guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the developments and organization are appropriate to task and purpose
  • W.3.6 - with guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others
  • W.3.10 - write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences
  • SL.3.1 - engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions... building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly
  • SL.3.4 - report on a topic
  • SL.3.5 - create engaging audio recordings... that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace, add visual displays when appropriate...
This unit would not be what it was if not for the valuable insights of authors, educators and librarians, in particular Melissa Stewart, Alyson Beecher, Stacey Rattner and Jenny Lussier.  They all shaped this project in some way and my students learned more from their ideas.

What books did my students pick to win?  Here are their choices:

Although this was a Mock Sibert unit, it could be adapted to any Mock unit of study.  Is this giving you ideas for next year?  I hope so!  I think the work the students do around these incredible books is so invaluable!  

Until next year!


  1. I can see so much learning here, Michele, and wish others would/could see that. I loved the padlets, and the kids must have loved doing them too.

  2. I really love doing mock awards units with kids (and colleagues!) - it really encourages children to look more deeply at the books they read, and to explore and examine them from different perspectives. There's so much to learn and so many skills that can be developed and honed through activities like this!

  3. Michele, what an amazing experience it turned out to be! Your padlet is awesome! So much learning is happening and in an authentic way! I hope we can connect for this again next year!

  4. I love glimpses of how the books are getting used in classrooms.