Last week, I shared my personal thoughts on teachers assigning nonfiction books of a particular length for book reports. You can read it here. Often times those arbitrary page numbers do not take into consideration the actual length of children's nonfiction books and the difference in reading nonfiction compared to fiction. So, if you are facing a teacher who is still assigning nonfiction texts of 150 pages to 3rd graders, share out the suggestions in this post for 3rd to 5th graders.
Don't underestimate the power of a picture book. Picture book biographies can introduce students to different individuals or help children pique their curiosity to learn more about someone.
Teachers can also have children compare and contrast several books on the same individual in order to see how the author develops an aspect of the person's life or what each author highlights.
Don't ignore the great nonfiction being published in a graphic novel format. I have particularly enjoyed the nonfiction graphic novels coming from First Second/Macmillan. The new Science Comics series has about six books out and more are expected.
Another option with slightly longer nonfiction picture books is to pair two books on similar topics. This provides readers with more than one source of information and perspective on a topic. For example, I blogged about marine pollution here using the titles below. You can also bring in videos and other resources to help children learn more about a topic.
Other thoughts about books:
In 2014, I did a series on Building a Nonfiction Classroom Library with a focus on picture books that would work for a variety of reading levels. Here are the links to the five posts with more than a 100+ titles:
Building a Classroom Library | Animals | Biographies | Creepy Crawlies | Marine Life |
And finally, check out this post each week and the bloggers who link up to discover dozens of new titles every week.
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews...