Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: Nonfiction Read Alouds Part II

In less than three full weeks, the new school year begins in my district. For some of you, it may be earlier and others you may still have until September. However, if you are like me, you are already thinking about lessons and classroom set-up and read alouds. Last week, I chose five picture book biographies to consider reading aloud. Check out the post here.

This week, I want to talk about expository nonfiction books for read aloud. Narrative nonfiction books like fictional stories are easy to see as a read aloud. However, this leaves out a vast assortment of nonfiction. And as a nonfiction lover that makes me sad. Similar to last week, I have selected five books from 2016 and 2017 that need to be shared with children and what better way but through a read aloud.

Here they are in no particular order....

Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals (World of Weird Animals) by Jess Keating; Illustrations by David DeGrand (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, February 2016) - This may have been my favorite nonfiction book in 2016. I loved the text, the formatting, the artistic layout. 

A Beetle is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston; Illustrated by Sylvia Long (Chronicle Books, April 2016) - I love all of the books in this series. Beautiful lively, engaging text with gorgeous illustrations. 

Otters Love to Play by Jonathan London; Illustrated by Meilo So (Candlewick Press, March 2016) - This book is just as fun and playful as the subject of the book. 

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook Press, February 2017) - Beautiful illustrations and informative text lead readers through the Grand Canyon. 

Can an Aardvark Bark? by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Beach Lane Books, June 2017) - I love the question and answer format of this book. Not only is it super engaging but it also is a great mentor text for learning how to write in this style. 

Some tips for reading expository nonfiction:

  • Electronic versions of the book can be easily projected to make it easier to read and show various text features. A document camera works as well.
  • For books that include facts along with the informational text, consider reading the book over multiple days. Sharing first the text and then going back to enjoy the included facts.
  • Practice reading the text aloud before using it as a classroom read aloud. This seems obvious but with expository nonfiction it is even more important. It will help make pace and vocabulary easier and smoother. 
  • Another option is to read the book in smaller chunks. Some books like Pink is for Blobfish can be shared one animal a day before heading out to lunch or upon return from recess.  
  • Don't forget to share the author's note, and illustrator's note, and extra material at the end. This can be a great way to create further interest and assist students in learning more.
Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews below: