I’m excited to be joining Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy in this year’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014 I’m hoping to discover many new nonfiction books that I can share with my students at school and with other teachers at workshops. Link up here to join in!
Here are the nonfiction books I’ve been reading this week:
New Year’s Day – Celebrations in My World Crabtree Publishing
This was the perfect “back to school” book to start the New Year with my students. It is a great book to share – filled with colorful photographs and interesting information about the history, customs and celebrations of New Year’s Day around the world. There was also a page about New Year’s resolutions – which was a great way to launch our writing about our own resolutions!
I is For Imagination – An Invention Alphabet – by Marcia Schoberg
This term I am working with a grade 7 class on a project linking writing with their Social Studies unit on ancient inventions from Mesopotamia. I used this anchor book today to launch the unit and get the children thinking about inventions. We spent nearly 40 minutes reading this book and discussing inventions! For every letter of the alphabet, I had the students predict the invention in the book:
“A” – is for…? Students responses: “airplane”, “antibiotics”, “apps” (ha!), “apple pie” (The actual invention in the book is “aluminum”)
Once the invention had been revealed, we discussed the importance of the invention and how it made an impact on our lives. By the time we got to “Z” – the kids were hooked and so excited about their project. I learned SO much and HIGHLY recommend this as an anchor book to launch an invention unit!
Big Bang Science Experiments – Jay Hawkins (Windmill Books
During the second term at my school, the intermediate classes spend a great deal of time preparing for the school Science Fair. For the younger students who are participating for the first time, it can be a challenge coming up with just the right experiment or project. Our great Teacher Librarian discovered this series and they have proved to be VERY helpful resources, The books include clear photograph visuals, instructions and examples of many different experiments to try.
First Facts Biography Series (Capstone)
I’m a huge fan of Biographies for kids – and while I tend to be drawn towards the more narrative versions like On a Beam of Light and The Tree Lady, I also think it’s helpful to have examples of more factual biographies at a lower reading level. This series of 6 books (missing here are Jeff Kinney and Barbara Park) was released in August – and I love that they include authors of books that many students will be familiar with. The text is very accessible with full colored photographs and many text features. A great collection for your library!
Noisy Frog Sing Along – John Himmelman
Noisy Frog is an simple but interesting look at the different songs frogs make! Some peep, some trill, some growl, some creek, and some go WAAH, WAAH, WAAH! (Who knew?) This book has bold and beautiful pictures and great facts at the back provide information about the “singers”! Big frog love for this book!
The Unpopular Pea (& Carrot) by Elle Valentine
I was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover, but debated whether I should list it as a nonfiction read. It is a cute story of a pea and carrot who feel unloved compared to the donuts and candy everyone seems to love. It has a fun rhyming text and very cute illustrations, however, the important message of this book focuses on nutrition. It shows the differences between junk food and vegetables and would be a great anchor book to help teach children how to make healthy choices. It’s also just darn cute!
What nonfiction picture books have you been reading this week?