I have a brand new class: a busy group of seven and eight year olds. Many of them are not used to the nonfiction read aloud. But, they love to be read to and they are fascinated when I share facts with them about the world. Nonfiction books are stories of their world and I know they will be hooked. I wandered through my collection yesterday and pulled some titles to start reading aloud.
I needed titles that are not too long. They have to have engaging photos or illustrations. Ideally, there will be some humour or an interactive element (guessing and checking). The language needs to fit and if it can be lyrical and lovely, all the better. Or punchy and action packed!
Here are the ten titles I selected as beginning nonfiction read alouds:
Nest by Jorey Hurley
A series of words and beautiful images to explore birds and their nests.
A Bird Is a Bird by Lizzy Rockwell
What makes a bird a bird exactly? A title to explore all the qualities of a bird.
Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons written by Sara Levine with illustrations by T.S. Spookytooth
A fun interactive style. What kind of animal would you be if . . . ?
Guess What is Growing Inside this Egg by Mia Posada
Clues and images lead us to the next page where we find the answer. Perfect to read a few pages at a time.
I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
Humour, spiders and some splatting. Learning as you laugh! Perfect.
Eat Like a Bear written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Follow a bear over seasons – how and what does a bear eat?
Weeds Find a Way written by Cindy Jenson-Elliott and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher
Lyrical and visually stunning. Appreciate weeds for their beauty and persistence.
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.
Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt
Marvel at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc. There is a guessing from a photograph aspect to this book.
Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
The format is engaging – each animal is introduced with a mini letter/question and answer.
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!
Nice match up to my post. 🙂 Love that we were on the same wave-length. 🙂
Interesting isn’t it? I have been really thinking about this for this new group and can’t wait to dive into the world of nonfiction titles with them this week.
You and Aly do have some similarities! I wrote on her post that I’m doing a presentation on some nonfiction love for next week, I’ll have to refer to both posts!
Thanks Michele! Good luck with your presentation.
Reblogged this on Nature Explorer and commented:
Check out these great nonfiction nature picture books for the classroom.
These are definitely great read-alouds. I would also recommend The Iridescence of Birds.
Ah yes, I love that book. I shared it with my students last year.
Wonderful list. I own some, have read them all. One of my favorites that I did use as a non-fiction mentor text was Eat Like A Bear. I love that book. Nest is really fine, too, and fits your criteria too, Carrie, short text but tells a lot! Thanks for pulling these into a great group.
I’m glad you enjoyed the list Linda
I love encouraging kids to explore nonfiction – I find that a lot of teachers/librarians suggest graphic novels for reluctant readers, which is awesome, but nonfiction is another excellent option that can capture the interest of children who aren’t too keen on fiction.
So true. This new group I have are so excited about nonfiction titles!
A Nest is Noisy and An Egg is Quiet would fit in with this group nicely (as well as all of Sylvia Long’s books). I ♥ A Leaf Can Be. Thanks, Carrie.
Yes, I love those books too!
I’ve read Weeds and Feet and loved them both. I haven’t read the others, but they all, especially Nest, look lovely.
Nest is a simple, beautiful book.
There are only a couple on this list I don’t know. The ones I do know are fabulous! I like that you did a list for lower elementary, and Elisabeth Ellington did a list for upper elementary. 🙂
Yes, fun that we are all thinking nonfiction lists!
Great post! I can’t wait to check these out from the library and share them with my own class of 7/8 year olds… I agree that the guessing and checking element is fun! I am always looking for nonfiction that also has text features that say “nonfiction” to younger readers – sometimes this is hard to find.
I am always happy to provide recommendations!
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You are awesome at the lists! I am teaching kindergarten students again after not doing it for about 6 years. I will definitely share some of these with them. Thanks for the great nonfiction you recommend. I always trust your judgement after trying so many of the titles you suggest and having success with them. 🙂