Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

I just finished the first full week of school with my new students. For me, there is lots of new. New students. New school. New grade combination (Grade 4 & 5). New community. New room. I teach and learn in The Land of New.

Nothing was perfect. But everything was about learning. Sometimes, I was absolutely the biggest learner in the room. Sometimes, I felt the beginning faith in my students that they are both learners and teachers here. I want them to always know this.

Today I celebrate that some wonderful happened. This classroom that I worked on for endless days in the summer feels like so much more with students in it. Together we are building community. It’s exhausting. But it’s fantastic.

And, there is no way I could be doing this alone. My family (parents, children, sister) helped me with set up all summer. My husband has helped me multiple days this week to hang art, affix labels and shift furniture around the room. My new school community has been supportive and willing to answer my endless questions. Things I have needed have been sourced. An iPad charger. A classroom carpet (thank goodness!). Blue markers for the white board.

I am constantly inspired by the PLN I continue to grow. You will see in this celebration that I have borrowed, emulated, utilized, shifted and considered the ideas and work of many incredible educators, authors, illustrators and artists in the work we did this week. I am always bursting with gratitude to be connected with so many creative and thoughtful individuals.

Now to celebrate!

We completed two pieces of art to celebrate International Dot Day. I wanted students to approach their work playfully and to embrace the feeling of no one way to make an art piece. I discovered the wonderful blog of artist Michele Guieu and was blown away by all that she does. After resurfacing from her blog (prepare to spend hours!), I had the inspiration for our Dot Day pieces.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

On one wall – our collective work! Can’t wait for students to walk into this on Monday morning.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

We are learning to think like scientists by waking up our brains to be observant, organized and full of questions. Thank you to Jess Keating and her Animals for Smart People videos. These videos are all under 3 minutes so we watch them twice and then talk about what we learned and the questions the information inspired.

Our first response web was completed together. Students will begin completing their own next week. We talked about jotting down new learning and connecting this to further questions.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of NewAll last year my students and I participated in #classroombookaday (Follow the link to the presentation that Jillian Heise and Angie Huesgen gave at nErdDcampMI 2016 for more information). Near the end of the year, I started choosing a collection of books around a theme. This year with an intermediate class, I decided to continue this and then have the students respond at the end of the week. What was their favourite book? What did they feel was the theme of the week? Which book best exemplified that theme?

We will be learning more about theme in the weeks to come, including how to think about supporting ideas from the text that confirm/illustrate the theme. What I love about this is the potential for students to be thinking and talking all week about how stories connect and what messages they include.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

In math, we began our week with representing numbers in interesting ways. While students built and created, I learned about their understanding of place value and ability to “count up” to prove to me that their structure/creature represented the number given.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

We have started Reading Workshop in full force. This group happily reads independently for 20-25 minutes and daily asks for more time to read. We have started to learn about genre through our picture book collection. This week we talked about fantasy stories, humour and books with rhyme and repetition. I have been trying to connect with each child to talk about books that are loved and what to read next. One important moment? When the child who told me he did not like to read and had no favourite books (on his reading survey) came to me on Friday and asked for my help in choosing a novel. The power of a reading community in a classroom full of books!

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

I finally finished covering exposed black board (non magnetic and marked up with tape marks) with book jacket covers. I call this book wall paper 🙂 The covers I selected are favourite titles of mine but I hope that they also convey a few things: we are readers here, we read fiction and nonfiction, stories are important, diversity is celebrated, we will be creative here, we will share laughter, we will learn together . . .

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

I celebrate turning out the lights on Friday afternoon (okay, early evening) to chairs up, art on the wall, student words in my head. Goodnight to my new classroom community.

Celebration: Week One in The Land of New

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!

Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.

celebrate-link-up

Celebration: Calef Brown Land

This week I am thrilled to celebrate a very special visit from author/artist/poet/word-wizard/snail-inventor, the amazing Calef Brown! To say that we adore Calef Brown’s art and poems is an extreme understatement. We are ultimate fans! So much so that we have been working on creating what we have come to call Calef Brown Land: a world on our outside bulletin board that features creatures, flying machines, flora and fauna inspired by Calef’s work.

Calef’s book Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny was the inspiration for many of these pieces  Dragon, Robot, Gator Bunny Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That We started drawing . . . Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That And then we painted Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Creatures and such were cut out and collected. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That And then the building of Calef Brown Land began. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That It was admired 🙂 Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Because it is AMAZING! Full of whimsy, vibrant colours and all kinds of joyous charm. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That And then, today . . . Calef Brown, himself, was coming to visit! Books were ready (check out the top row) Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That The schedule was set. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Welcome signs were made. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That And then, we heard the shouts, “Calef Brown is here! He’s here!”

Staying in the room and calm went quickly out the window. Because today was the day! We got to visit with Calef Brown!

Sharing the mural was pretty special. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That But having Calef Brown share with us . . . Well, now, that was just full of wow! We talked about syllables and favourite words. Rhymes and near rhymes. List making. Word savouring. Rice paper. Tones. Inspiration. Silly. Colours. End papers and treasures under the book jackets. We got to ask lots of questions and found out many things like which came first – the poem? the word? the illustration? (Never the chicken or the egg in case you were wondering)

We watched Calef read poems (perfectly) upside down. And . . . recite multiple poems from memory. Most of his poems are stored in his head and he shared them with us, when the time was right, on multiple occasions. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That When the students had their recess break, Calef made each one a special note. (Yes, he really did this! I witnessed it!)

He also gifted a signed copy of his newest book Hypnotize a Tiger to our school. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That Calef got a little peek at my students doing what they do best: losing themselves in books! His books, of course, flew into hands and were shared together or devoured individually. Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That In the afternoon, students got a peek at their individual notes. Lots of smiles all around 🙂 Celebration: Calef Brown Land There's a Book for That This week I celebrate Calef Brown’s generosity, creativity and time. His visit was very special for us, confirming our knowledge that book makers – readers, writers, artists extraordinaire are magical. They make the world extra everything! Thank you Calef Brown! This was a morning for the very important memory files. Filed under . . .

wordy wanderings

art meanderings

kindly offerings

Same  number of syllables inspiration  🙂

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks. celebrate-link-up

Monsters, monsters everywhere

Monsters, monsters everywhere

Monsters have cast a certain magic over our classroom lately.

We’ve been reading about monsters.

Talking monster characteristics.

Designing monsters.

Sketching monsters.

Painting monsters.

Talking about monsters living with us. Because . . . hey, what if?

Stories to come. We are writing.

It all started with this book:

Leonardo Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

And then, we looked at a few more monster titles. Some monster images. Thank you Elise Gravel for some wonderful monster inspiration on your website! We made a gigantic chart about all of the monster features we noticed like: fangs, claws, blueberry bodies (you know squishy and round), humongous heads, extra eyes (and other body parts), horns and other strange features.

We drew monster designs.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

By the next week, we were ready to pick a particular monster and “grow him/her” into our monster piece.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Add some paint and some creative energy from your peers, and my, oh my, what happens . . .

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Some monsters are born!

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Boo! Are you scared? Just a bit? We won’t tell!

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That

Now that you are in the monster mood, you might want a book selection, or two to explore. Here are 18 of my favourite monsterish creature titles:

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Picture Books about Monsters

Monsters? Creatures? Is there a difference? I’m sure if we asked some of these characters, they would have an opinion.

Monsters, monsters everywhere There's a Book for That Strange Creatures in Picture books

Picture books that feature monsters and other strange creatures:

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santant

Love Monster by Rachel Bright

My Teacher is a Monster (No I am Not) by Peter Brown

Prickles vs. The Dust Bunnies (A Balloon Toons comic) by Daniel Cleary

The Gruffalo written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Raising Your Own Pet Monster by Elise Gravel 

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke

Wilfred written and illustrated by Ryan Higgins

The Monstore by Tara Lazar

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

The Monsters’ Monster by Patrick McDonnell

The Tale of Jack Frost by David Melling

The Book that Eats People is written by John Perry and illustrated by Mark Fearing.

Plantpet by Elise Primavera

Big Bad Bubble written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Don’t Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie by Joel Stewart

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Happy Picture Book Month!

pb month logo

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Student Voices

Mingan: My village Poems by Innu Schoolchildren by Rogé

With participation of Joséphine Bacon, Rita Mestokosho and Laure Morali.

 Mingan My village Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Student Voice There's a Book for That

I have the feeling I could write nothing about this title and that just from the cover image, you will seek it out.

Anybody nodding?

And really, you should. Seek. Read. Share it with students. It is beautiful on every level.

After spending a few days with children in Mingan, an Innu village in northeastern Quebec, Rogé painted portraits of the children he photographed. Through writer’s workshops, the children wrote the poetry that is shared in this book. The writing could speak of so many things in these children’s experiences. These poems depict a rich connection to nature, an honouring of the natural world and an awe of the beauty that surrounds us.

Some poems are written by one author. Others are collaborations. I love much of the imagery. Here is a portion of a favourite piece:

It snows on the planets

When we walk on the sky

And these words just stopped me.

When the ravens become white

I will stop loving you

More than forty percent of the students who attend my school are Aboriginal. I have just ordered my own copy of this title so it can be a part of our classroom library. Student voice. Student expression. The magic of poetry. I want all of these things to be inspiration to my students. I want them to find their power to observe, to share and to connect through the words of these children on the other side of our country.

When I ordered this title, I also ordered another title by Rogé that has been getting a lot of recent attention for its gorgeous illustrations:

Haiti My country: Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren

Haiti My Country  Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Student Voice There's a Book for That

Are these titles nonfiction? Yes and no. I think they can be stretched between genres. That these poems capture so much truth, that they inspire the reader to think about a place and a specific time and seek out maps and more information, this is my reason to nudge these titles, for today, into the nonfiction world.

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!

klf_nonfiction2014_medium

My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 121/65 complete!

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

It has been such a pleasure to introduce my students to the Disgusting Critters series by Elise Gravel. These titles are written partly like a graphic or comic style early reader and partly as a nonfiction picture book. So far, there are four titles published including The Worm, The Fly, The Slug and The Rat. I think The Rat might be my favourite because I feel bravest when I read it. Oh how I despise rats . . .

The Rat: Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

When I first read The Fly in the summer, I knew. I knew these books would be such a hit in my classroom. I had all kinds of ideas:

  • pair them with a more traditional nonfiction series to allow students to continue gathering facts
  • have pairs of students read through and list facts discovered (go on a “fact hunt”) and also list parts of the books that are included for other purposes like humour, story line, etc.
  • make lists of other disgusting critters that might need to have a book devoted to them

Day one and we started with Disgusting Critters.

Independent reading time included a lot of reading devotion to these books.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

Then I thought . . . what if we made our own “fan art” and designed a Disgusting Critter book jacket? I used some of the terms on the back covers for students to answer for the “back” of their cover:

Special Talent:

Food preference:

Distinctive Trait:

Disgusting?

We drew pencil sketches. I made a photocopy. We added colour. One for our bulletin board and one for Elise Gravel. We had lots of interesting “critters” including snails, centipedes, ladybugs, lizards, lobsters and lots of spiders. And many more 🙂

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

We wrote Elise letters full of questions and things we wanted her to notice. Some favourite lines from different letters:

  • I drew the lice because I liked it. Lots of kids have lots of lice, so be careful.
  • Mine is a spider. Did you notice my spider’s eyelashes?
  • I love your art Elise.
  • I hate spiders but I like your art. Can you write about lizards and crabs?
  • I love how you mixed humour and nonfiction.
  • Is writing a book hard?

We wrote thoughtfully . . .

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

We got some help editing for meaning and clarity:

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters

Lots of hard work and creativity by all to complete these projects. Some art, some writing, a little research and a bit of creative license.
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Little Fans of Disgusting Critters   I shared much of this with Elise along the way via twitter.

A package of “fan art” and letters is on route to her in Montreal!

So much buzz about these books. Nonfiction that is exciting and engaging? That leads to reading more nonfiction about certain creatures? More Disgusting Critters please Elise Gravel!!

NFPB 2014

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: 111/65 complete!

Celebration: Two Weeks in

It’s a strange feeling to be writing October on the board but yet, after a prolonged strike, we only have two full weeks of school under our belts.

Usually two weeks into a school year means routines are still being practiced and set, schedules are not fully organized, new staff are building relationships with the students and “school stamina” is steadily increasing.

While this is all happening in my classroom, it also feels like we are all a little ahead of the game. Is it a typical beginning of October? Not quite. But for a variety of reasons, we have hit the ground running and I couldn’t be prouder. Maybe, it is my excitement to be back and fully immersed in all of the learning. Maybe it is the exact same thing for the students. A lot has to do with the fact that I have again looped a class of students from a 2/3/4 into a 3/4 so that 17 children were in the room last year. Whatever it is, we are back in a big way and this is what I celebrate: our enthusiasm, our passion and our commitment to learning.

I thought at first that I was going to highlight all of the academics we have so quickly embraced, but as I was selecting pictures, I realized that our strength and our growth is always such a balance of learning, community and joy.

As I often do, I will let these photographs tell our stories.

Our week began with an all day field trip up Grouse Mountain into the rain and the clouds. Despite the weather, the kids were troopers.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

On the mountain, our experiences included time in art galleries and a session in the Feast House with an artist. Students were respectful, curious and engaged.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for ThatOur first classroom art activity was a Picasso inspired cubist self-portrait project. I love the playfulness it brought out in the children.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Finished portraits are bright and beautiful. These two portraits are not only stunning, they are also of two new friends in our classroom 🙂

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

One of the best parts of our week is our gratitude circle where everyone shares small and large things that we feel grateful for. Always, it is a lovely exercise in sharing and listening.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

I have been taking individual photos of everyone in our class for a photo project we are working on. Of course, with a camera we can capture all of the energy that is who we are as a class community. Some of my many girls reveal their personalities. Oh yes, girl power.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

We have leapt fully into the land of 3 and 4 digit numbers – building, comparing, ordering, representing. Math is busy and messy with students and materials everywhere – just how we learn best!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Within the first few minutes of Reading Workshop, these boys have staked out prime reading real estate. They are doing all of the things we have been talking about when we ask what independent reading looks like: find a comfortable spot, have a collection of interesting things to read, build stamina, etc.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

We welcomed a lovely guest to our room Friday morning and some of us wanted to share some favourite picture books. The image is a little blurry because it is an action shot. These girls didn’t just read the books, they acted them out! Love the spontaneous enthusiasm.

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

A new year and a new grade means new writer’s notebooks and the introduction of felt tipped pens. Using the pens was a recommendation from Colleen Cruz in a session some of my staff and I attended last fall here in Vancouver. As you can see, they sure allow the ideas to flow across the page!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Some more busy little writers sharing ideas and the excitement of our new pens!

Celebration: Two Weeks in There's a Book for That

Two weeks in and wow, we have much to celebrate!

celebrate-link-up

Thank you also to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and her Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community.

Teaching with a Passion for Nonfiction Books: Part 2

This post is part of a 3 part series about using more nonfiction titles in our Elementary classrooms. A link to the first post is included here:

Part 1: Everywhere you look . . . let there be nonfiction!

The intention with each of these posts is to share a practical “how to” list of how to read more, celebrate more and use more nonfiction picture books in the late primary/early intermediate classroom. For reference, last year I taught a Grade 2/3/4 class.

Teaching with a passion for nonfiction picture books:

Part 2: The importance of the nonfiction read aloud

The message of this post is simple: read more nonfiction titles aloud more often!

Wanting to do that is the easy part. Finding the time in our busy schedules is another thing! Here is how I have managed to find more time to share more nonfiction in my classroom.

 Teaching with a Passion for Nonfiction Books: Part 2  The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

Set aside designated time to read nonfiction titles 

Block nonfiction read aloud into your weekly schedule. Don’t trust that you will alternate fiction and nonfiction read alouds. Sharing picture books and poetry and novels needs designated time as well. If you are already doing those things well, you see many benefits to reading fiction aloud and you won’t want to give it up. When you actually schedule time to read aloud nonfiction, it won’t be instead of anything else. Nonfiction can play the starring role. I have two 40 minute blocks of time a week for nonfiction read aloud. This is at minimum – I often fit more time in during other parts of the week.

Of course, that still doesn’t answer this question: What are things you might give up in your schedule to fit in more nonfiction time? I always think we can be strategic to find time for things that we value. Thinking about some of these things might help.

  • Build oral language skills (listening, speaking, retelling, summarizing, asking questions, etc. ) during your read aloud session. The listening and speaking component of Language Arts needs dedicated time in our schedules. Why not build a lot of these skills while sharing nonfiction titles? We often use nonfiction read aloud time to really develop these skills. This is when we do much of our “turn and talk” time with a partner or a small group. Students have the chance to share out to the whole group, listen attentively, build on other comments or questions and practice predicting and inferring. We also work on summarizing, listening for specific information and asking questions. All of this talk time to review makes a huge difference in how much information students recall. I have the students do some of the following things with their “turn and talk” partner or small group as we work through a nonfiction title over multiple read aloud sessions:
  1. Share what you already know about this topic. Sometimes I have the students share facts (questions are okay too) back and forth one fact at a time to really practice turn taking. For example, if we are going to read a book about elephants, the exchange might sound something like “They are huge” “They live in Africa” “They have a trunk” “They use their trunk to drink” “Is their trunk like a nose? Do they even have a nose?” “Their skin is wrinkly and grey” “I think they eat leaves”
  2. Talk about some things you are wondering.
  3. Answer specific questions based on an image on the page i.e. Look at this picture of the hippo in the water, why do you think hippos spend so much time in the water?
  4. List at least 3 (or more) new facts we learned yesterday about __________ (refer to specific section of the book)
  5. What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far?
  6. Explain _________ to your partner. Partners, was any important part missed? For example: Explain the differences we have learned about crocodiles and alligators.
  7. What are you hoping we will still find out?
  8. Listen to the next heading (or chapter title) what do you think we might read about in this section?
  9. Which of our questions never got answered?
  • Use your nonfiction read alouds to support curricular themes in science and social studies. This is huge. I launch every unit/theme with a book, often multiple books! Enhance the rich learning that nonfiction titles help us support through discussion, reflection writing, vocabulary building and opportunities to retell and summarize our new learning in a variety of ways.

Here are some examples of the “work” we do with nonfiction titles in my classroom. We are reading great books and covering curriculum!

After reading When the Giant Stirred: Legend of a Volcanic Island by Celia Godkin and some sections from a variety of nonfiction books about volcanoes, students completed a labelled diagram of the parts of the volcano.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

We then completed a paper bag volcano experiment where small groups had to follow a series of oral and posted instructions.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

As we read, we keep track of questions we are wondering so we can revisit as we read and when we are finished the story. Students love to notice, “Now we know the answer to that one!” Reading No Monkeys, No Chocolate written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young (with illustrations by Nicole Wong) took us multiple read aloud sessions. There was so much to learn in this book!

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

I love when another adult can work collaboratively in the room with me. As we read aloud, we ask the children to provide us with any key words from the text after every few pages and one of us notes them down on chart paper. Both of us can then circulate during “turn and talk time” instead of one person trying to balance all of the pieces of guiding the lesson. These key words help the students when they are doing reflective or summary writing.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

We also often list questions from the students during the read aloud and then code them when we are finished reading. Did our questions get answered? Do we need to do some research? Or can we infer to figure out the answer. R = Research I = Infer FO= Found Out If we want students to do writing, we might provide prompts like those listed below and have them look at our questions on chart paper to help guide their responses.

  • I discovered . . .
  • We found out that . . .
  • Now that I know _________, I think ___________
  • I am still wondering . . .
  • I still have some questions.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

Sometimes, my Resource Teacher (RT) comes into support writing when we have already read a story aloud and done a lot of the thinking work. I have different students take turns summarizing what happened in the book. This allows the RT to be caught up with the information and provides the opportunities for different students to practice summarizing and sharing key points.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

One of our favourite activities to do with nonfiction titles (especially if we are reading more than one text on the topic) is to fill out a Knew/New Chart. This idea is from Adrienne Gear and her Nonfiction Reading Power book (which is amazing if you don’t have it!) We filled out this chart after reading both Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Éric Puybaret and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jaques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

Read aloud some more!

Get creative about using nonfiction titles throughout your week. It’s easy to find ways to share more nonfiction titles to support things you are already doing.

  • Use specific nonfiction titles for those ten to fifteen minute times that happen upon you in the classroom. Kids actually cleaned up and are ready before the bell? The presentation is late in the gym? The play finished early? Use that “found time” to share nonfiction titles. I always have two or three titles in a bin beside our carpet area ready to do just that. Many of these books can be shared a page at a time with lots of success. Some of my favourites for this purpose? Titles by Steve Jenkins feature big here!

Found Time? Read some nonfiction! The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

  • Model ways to buddy read with nonfiction titles. Are your kids big buddy readers to a younger class? I like to model how to share various books with my students so their buddy reading time is more successful and fun. I often choose nonfiction titles to do this. First, I get to share these as read alouds and then my students, in turn, share them. My favourites for this purpose?

Nonfiction Titles perfect for buddy reading The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

  • Inspire an art project! Launch an art project with a nonfiction title. Some of my favourite books to do just that:

Use nonfiction to inspire an art project The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

A few recent of art projects inspired by nonfiction books.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

This image (above) was complimented by Nicola Davies author of One Tiny Turtle (that inspired this book) Below some students are painting their turtles.

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

Teaching with a Passion for nonfiction: Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

And how can I end this post without sharing some of my very favourite nonfiction to read aloud? Here are some titles that I have used with a lot of success in my primary/early intermediate classroom. Rich, rich learning opportunities!

 Fantastic Nonfiction to read aloud Part 2 The importance of the nonfiction read aloud There's a Book for That

I know there are many teachers out there doing amazing things with nonfiction texts in their classroom. This post is hardly a comprehensive list of everything that can be done with the read aloud and is not intended to touch on how to teach specific nonfiction genres. Please share your own ideas and links in the comment section! Let’s continue the nonfiction conversation.

Next post? Part 3: Interacting with nonfiction: getting students reading, thinking and talking together 

3A: Generating excitement, making choices and having time to read

3 B: Reading and working with the texts