It’s Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday!
In July, I published a series of posts about using more nonfiction titles in the classroom. I included numerous recommendations of book titles geared to the primary/early intermediate classroom. In case you missed them, here are the links:
Part 1: Everywhere you look . . . let there be nonfiction!
Part 2: The importance of the nonfiction read aloud
3A: Generating excitement, making choices and having time to read
3 B: Reading and working with the texts
Through twitter and from a few comments, I heard from some teachers that their middle school students (Grades 5-8) have lost their passion for nonfiction reading. Linda Baie from Teacher Dance addressed this here with some great book suggestions. At first, I thought that this was not something that I could talk about since my students are younger and I don’t have first hand experience working with these older readers. But the more I thought about it, I realized that my own children (boy/girl twins) are eleven and we share a lot of nonfiction together. And I started another list . . .
For the next few weeks, I will share thirty of my favourite nonfiction books for older readers – ten at a time. If you are an intermediate teacher, I hope you have students eager to read nonfiction! If not, maybe some of these titles can persuade them to spend some time with this genre.
The first ten:
The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins (published 2013)
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Brian Selznick (published 2001)
The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis (published 2003)
Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop (published 2014)
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia written by Sy Montgomery with photographs by Nic Bishop (published 2009)
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong (first published in 2002, second edition 2011)
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Maker’s Strike of 1909 written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (published 2013)
Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill (published 2014)
Zombie Makers True Stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca L. Johnson (published 2012)
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle (published 2011)
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!
My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 99/65 complete!
Some great selections here! My students love “If the World Were a Village” – I often use it as a guessing game to see if they can figure out some of the stats, and they get very enthusiastic. Will have to check out some of these others as well.
It is really an important title. I spent forever with it with my own children. Such a place to launch so many discussions and questions.
There are several titles here already on my TBR list. But Zombie Makers looks completely what even the most reluctant readers would be into!
So true – I think this is a title kids can’t resist.
I still need to read Zombie Makers. Great list.
I haven’t made my way through all of it yet- I need breaks from the wow but yucky factor 🙂
Thanks for the link, Carrie. I’m preparing some book talks now for younger and older students, so this will help a lot! I have The Tree of Life-so wonderful. Still need to find and read this Shackleton. That adventure never fails to inspire. And must find the Zombie Makers-what fun it will be! Thanks for this, and future, lists!
My pleasure Linda. I think you and I were both struck by the comment that kids don’t stay as passionate about nonfiction titles as they get older. There are so many books out there – and I think some of them sell themselves re the interest factor – with our guidance of course, as necessary.
Great titles with such eye-catching covers on your list! I picked up Zombie Makers from the library and look forward (kind of – ha) to reading it.
It is a book to read in small doses – although I think kids would not put it down. I’m not so brave!
What a great list you have here, Carrie. We borrowed The Animal Book but was not able to finish it. Will reserve it again from the library. I’ve seen Zombie Makers in our library but didn’t pick it up then, will look for it again this weekend when we pay our usual visit. Love the picturebook biographies here as well. 🙂
Thanks Myra. The Animal Book is one to spend a lot of time with. My children and I are slowly making our way through it.
Did you see a new book that is coming out, I think in September – Animalium by Jenny Broom. It reminds me a little of Steve Jenkins because it seems to be a compendium of animals but the illustrations/drawings are phenomenal!
No I haven’t seen it but off to look for it! Thanks for the recommendation.