Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sharing Resources

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Port Hardy and participate in School District 85’s Professional Development Day. I gave a nonfiction workshop (twice) during the day all about using and celebrating more nonfiction picture books in our classrooms. One of the points that I made was that if we want to be highlighting more nonfiction picture books we have to ask ourselves the simple question: How? How are we going to do this? One of the ways is to know our books – in effect: Start with ourselves.

I put together some resources that I posted on my blog to help people do just that. I am now sharing here. :-)

If you have ideas about additions to these lists, please share in the comments!

Nonfiction Resources

A list of posts, blogs, awards and Pinterest boards that will provide numerous ideas about what books and how to use them.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sharing Resources

Nonfiction Picture Books for Reading Aloud

Thinking purely of read alouds – used to inspire questions, wonder and learning, here are some of my favourites by theme. It’s a list I hope to regularly update. Geared for the K-4 classroom.

Born in the Wild Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sharing Resources

Read Alones: Fantastic nonfiction titles for primary students

“Read Alones” are accessible nonfiction titles ideal for primary students and beginning readers to read on their own.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Sharing Resources

I feel so fortunate to be part of this nonfiction book community that regularly shares what we are reading and how we are using nonfiction picture books with students.  Thank you to Alyson Beecher and all of the bloggers who regularly share!

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Monday February 23rd, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This one was taken during a sharing time about what we noticed about the characters in the picture books we had been reading. I love the focus and the attention!

Monday February 22nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

I am in the middle of report cards and was away for part of last week- hence, this post will be brief just sharing a few images of titles I read this week. I hope to have more to share next week when these reports are complete! My Saturday Celebration post highlights a little of my “busy” past week.

Something about a Bear by Jackie Morris

As always, the art . . . wow. Nonfiction title about various bears.

Something about a bear Monday February 22nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

In my Heart: A Book of Feelings written by Jo Witek and illustrated by Christine Roussey

The most special thing about this title? The cut out pages. Lovely exploration of feelings.

Monday February 22nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Perfect Man written by Troy Wilson and illustrated by Dean Griffiths 

All kinds of endearing.

Perfect Man Monday February 22nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

If: A Mind Bending Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers written by David J. Smith illustrated by Steve Adams

Some of these concepts will be beyond my students, some they will absolutely be able to grasp.

if . . . Monday February 22nd, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I continue to read The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds and then plan to start Arcady’s Goal by Eugene Yelchin

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 66/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 17/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read

Celebration: New views

This week a bit of a theme seemed to emerge – seeing things in a new way or seeing things for the first time. I had a shortened teaching week due to a Pro D day in my district and travelling to participate in Pro D to the island so my learning “adventures” were a little more varied.

This is what I celebrate this week: new views.

#1 It was the third annual Nonfiction 10 for 10 this week. Follow the link to check out all of the lists shared. My theme this year was Change your perspective. This list featured my favourite nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

Change your perspective Celebration: New views There's a Book for That

#2 Watching my students in buddy reading this week was lovely as always. But, as I walked around and listened in to the reading and the conversations, what really stood out was their leadership. My students have really become reading mentors. They are responsive to their listeners, they are monitoring for understanding, they are aware of attention span and they are asking amazing questions. I couldn’t be prouder.

Celebration: New views There's a Book for That

#3 My students adore Calef Brown. We love his art. We love his wonderful poems. This week in art we made some images inspired by his.

I loved how some images were Brown inspired with such a lovely “child” twist. Like this sweet little moment between these characters below.

Celebration: New views There's a Book for That

#4 These views were truly new views of the most beautiful and majestic kind! They are taken out my window flying back from Port Hardy Friday evening. I loved the tiny plane ride and the incredible views of mountains and coast line that we could see out the window. The flight back to Vancouver had no empty seats and many people were snapping pictures of these gorgeous scenes.

Celebration: New views There's a Book for That Celebration: New views There's a Book for That

#5 The reason I was in Port Hardy was to participate in Vancouver Island North Teachers’ Association’s District Professional Day on The Whole Child. It was an honour to present the Key Note address and to be able to share my love for nonfiction picture books in the two nonfiction workshops I shared. The photo below is part of my book stack  – upside down with sticky notes everywhere which made sense for me as I presented.

The North Island community was wonderful. While I had only a limited time there, I was touched by the stories that people shared with me and by the warmth in which I was welcomed. The beautiful landscape, the dancing and the drumming, the care and commitment of these educators . . . it was a wonderful 24 hours for me.

Celebration: New views There's a Book for That

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

celebrate-link-up

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Nonfiction 10 for 10 event is back for a third year! How happy am I to celebrate fantastic nonfiction picture books? Well, that is a silly question! Ecstatic of course.

Thank you to Cathy Mere from Reflect and RefineMandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning  and Julie Balen of Write at the Edge for hosting this meme. Click here to read all of the top ten lists shared.

Nonfiction 10 for 10

For the first year of #nf10for10 I shared favourite nonfiction titles – many that I have used with my class over the last few years in a variety of ways. Last year, I chose to focus on nonfiction picture book biographies that feature inspiring women.

This year I am sharing my favourite nonfiction titles that allow us to think about something from a completely new or different perspective.

These books all allow us to look at the subject in a new way. It might be offering us an alternative glimpse of an animal or phenomenon. Maybe the book answers a question you never even knew you had. Or perhaps your learning gets turned on its head. All of these books had this impact on me.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy

I freely admit that I think sharks are one of the most truly terrifying creatures. But this book captivated me. Its mixture of gorgeously painted illustrations, detailed relevant diagrams and the story of how the great whites who hunt in the Farallon Islands hunt so successfully, kept me reading and interested to the final pages.

Different perspective? Think about the shark beyond its frightening predator status.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

How Big Were Dinosaurs? by Lita Judge

Each dinosaur featured here is drawn next to something that children already know to allow them to imagine the exact size of the dinosaur. For example, the velociraptor was only the size of a modern day dog. The image shown is of a velociraptor on a leash near by a dog also out for a walk. So engaging

Different perspective? Allows the reader to imagine what it might be like to have dinosaurs around now by providing a sense of their size in reference to what we know. Dinosaurs, for a moment, materialize beside us rather than lay down in fossilized form in a photograph or drawing.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Weeds Find a Way written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher

Lyrical and visually stunning. I now love the weeds in this book but still battle with those in my garden. Those weeds that seem to always be winning. They seem to find many a way.

Different perspective? It is possible to see the beauty and the tenacity in weeds. Seeing beauty where one previously did not. I appreciated Holly Mueller‘s view on this book – that it lets you look at weeds as children do. First, with appreciation.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

No Monkeys, No Chocolate written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young with illustrations by Nicole Wong 

What a rich engaging information story book. The reader is quickly wooed by a page of delicious desserts and treats with chocolate as a main ingredient . . . but where does chocolate come from? We travel to the rainforests of Central and South America and learn the very complicated series of natural events that make it possible to harvest the cocoa bean.

Different perspective? The amazing learning here is about how nature is not about isolated events or lone miracles but how a chain of events with each piece dependent on many others is necessary in order for things to happen. This book illustrates this to children in a way that makes this concept truly accessible and clear.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija

Beautiful nonfiction describing and hinting at all of the roles leaves can play – from “rain stopper” to “shade spiller” and many more.

Different perspective? The different perspective here is simple and complicated all at once – stretching the imagination. Absolutely beautiful.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey written by Loree Griffin Burns with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

The most special thing about this title is that it answers a question that few children might have imagined: How exactly do butterflies get to live exhibits in the north? Many children have been to Science Centres and Natural History Museums that might house live exhibits. Where do those butterflies come from? How do they get there? This title tells that story.

Different perspective? Poses and answers a question readers have not even entertained.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors poems by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange

Poet and artist celebrate nature’s successes. Who has been around for a long time and continues to thrive? Introduced in order of their evolutionary arrival, read poems and facts about such creatures as the squirrel, ants, geckos and diatoms. Fascinating and a lyrical experience all at once. Blending of art, poetry and nonfiction.

Different perspective? We often think about endangered animals (as we should) but this book allows us to think about those creatures and life forms that have survived and thrived. What are their secrets?

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Feathers Not Just for Flying written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen

Such a beautifully written and organized book – almost like a nature journal or a scrap book. Read about sixteen birds in particular as you learn about different ways feathers are used. Perfect as an interactive read aloud experience.

Different perspective? Stretches the reader’s imagination to think about various ways feathers are useful and needed for various types of birds. Many would not even have been considered.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley

Spectacular photographs showcasing the daily routines that many of us share – all a little different in different places but yet, so much the same.

Different perspective? The more we think we are different, the more we realize we have much in common. A wonderful reminder of this.

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons written by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth 

How do our bones function within our skeletal system? What about compared to animal skeletons. What if we didn’t have certain bones or what if they were much different than they are? Can you imagine if we had extra bones attached to our spine? We’d have a tail! And what would that be like?

Different perspective? We often don’t think about our bones, their purposes and what it would be like if they were different. Fascinating questions to help us learn about the body (both human and various animals).

Nonfiction 10 for 10 2015: Change your perspective There's a Book for That

The Boy who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos written by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham

This is a fascinating biography that not only makes math seem absolutely engrossing but gives us a glimpse into a mind that was truly one track. A beautiful balance between the mathematical life and the other life of Paul Erdos. Accessible and intriguing for younger readers/listeners. A definite book to be explored multiple times.

Different perspective? The everyday, human side of genius. Revealed that when we are really good at one thing, we may not be good at other things (like laundry).

boy-who-loved-math

Are there books that fit this theme for you? That transformed your thinking about something? All of these titles to me highlight the amazing power of nonfiction picture books to teach and inspire us. When we are reading and sharing these books, we are always part of the learning journey.

 

Monday February 16th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This was taken during buddy reading with the Ks. What I love about it? That children are everywhere. All reading. Under things. On the carpet. At tables. Walking around. Reading, reading, reading.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

Loved some special books this week – here are a few of my favourites:

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) by Peter Brown 

Everyone has read this book, I know, I know. I kept not reading it thinking I might buy it. How I love Peter Brown! Then I tried to reign in my book purchasing and requested this title from the library. Now, of course, I really want it . . . My logic around not buying books usually fails. Miserably.

I adored this book. It’s sweet and funny. But also tender and kind of vulnerable. That’s how it struck me at least. All about perspective of course but also about opening yourself up to viewing someone in a new way.

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

Ode to imaginations and pickle sandwiches. Absolutely charming.

Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Toys in Space by Mini Grey

What happens if you leave your toys outside all night? Well, they’ll be abducted by aliens of course.

Toys in Space Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature poems by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Mark Heard

Oh these illustrations. This book is a treasure. The poetry is varied – many poems became my favourites. I tried to list them but kept changing my mind! A beautiful book to give, to have, to read.

 Outside Your Window Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I find myself strangely without words on this title. The pages are seeped in vulnerability for so many reasons. There are some hard and heartbreaking pages. It’s a quick read that follows you around for days. I can see why the Schneider committee selected this book. A YA read.

Girls like us Monday February 16th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am reading The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds 

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 8/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 61/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 5/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 15/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 5/50 books read

Celebration: The Book Cycle

On the day when everyone is celebrating love – I am going to celebrate book love. How lucky I am to be surrounded by it!

It made it onto my Valentine envelopes

Celebration: The Book Cycle There's a Book for That

I get to witness it all week – in Reading Workshop, during quiet reading and most adorably, during buddy reading with the Ks.

Celebration: The Book Cycle There's a Book for That

This week we wrote about our classroom library and one little reader’s writing was a beautiful gift of celebration of how much we love books and how much I love books.

I celebrate it here:

I like that in our classroom library, we never say there is too many books because you can never have enough books!! Everybody likes every single book because we have so many memories like reading with our friends or this is the book I read when I’m sad. Ms. Gelson always book talks books which means she’s adding more books to the library which also means we have to make room. Ms. Gelson bought a whole new shelf for nonfiction!!! By the end of this year, we’ll be drowning in books 

You know how there’s a butterfly cycle and a blah blah cycle and all the other cycles? Well let me tell you about the book cycle. Step 1: Empty book shelf  Step 2: Mediumish filled book shelf  Step 3: Almost full book shelf  Step 4: Full book shelf and finally  Step 5: Drowning in books because there’s too many books. Sorry – you can never have enough books! And that is the book cycle :-)

Maybe that book cycle doesn’t fit your teacher. If not, make your own up. I mean – that wasn’t made up though. But back to the point . . . That book cycle sure fits my teacher. She’s a little bit book crazy as in goes to the book store everyday! 

Here is the author of this incredible piece of writing with her favourite book! (She does read it when she’s sad. But also when she’s happy or mellow or tired or  . . . )

Celebration: The Book Cycle There's a Book for That

I wish all of you some love, particularly a little of the bookish variety!

I celebrate that I have a room full of books and wonderful readers to read them!

celebrate-link-up

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. Read all of the celebrations by following the links shared here.

 

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

I am reading nonfiction titles. I will share some new titles soon. Promise. But, this week I just have to highlight some more of the book love being celebrated in my room for nonfiction reading!

Every January, we implement Nonfiction Reading Day as part of Reading Workshop. Of course, students can and do read nonfiction throughout the week but Tuesdays are the day we do more nonfiction book talks, share a variety of responses to nonfiction text, teach about the features and most importantly, provide lots of time to read nonfiction titles. It is noisy. The room buzzes with learning and chatter. Lots of sharing. Lots of wondering. Lots of reading more to find out more.

Many books I book talk need the “sticky note list” for who gets to read it next. This book about stick insects was passed on quickly today as the first reader was so offended by a photograph of a bird eating a stick insect that she passed it off to other interested readers and went and talked to the stick bugs in our cage, consoling them and murmuring proof of their safety in the tank! Then, she found a fact book and settled into reading.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

I love that nonfiction reading often means leaping up to search for places on the map!

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

Nonfiction reading lends itself to discussion and sharing. Yes, there is lots of talk. But it is purposeful talk. On topic talk. Teaching talk.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

I often observe rereading happening between students. “Listen to this.” “Hold on, let me read that again? “Do you think that means . . . ?” “Well it also says . . .”

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

I am also noticing students choosing a few books on the same topic and reading to confirm and verify what they are learning between texts.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

These girls (above) are reading Grow with Me Ladybug by Kate Riggs and Zoom in on Ladybugs by Melissa Stewart

grow with me ladybug Zoom in on  Lady bugs

Important thinking happens as students include their thinking on Fact/React sheets (thanks to Adrienne Gear for the inspiration for this BLM) We are working to “react” in various ways: Does the fact inspire a question or a wonder? Confirm something we already knew a bit about? Confuse us? Connect to something we have experienced? Make us have a physical or emotional reaction? Lots of thinking is being shared

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

Students are loving our focus on nonfiction. One little reader remarked last Tuesday, “I wish everyday could be nonfiction day!” “It can,” I pointed out. “Oh yeah!” she said. “I’m going to read more of this book tomorrow!”

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A celebration of nonfiction enthusiasm

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015