Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries - Volcanoes

Periodically, Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday will take a back seat for another kind of nonfiction book post.  In May, Great Kid Books, 100 Scope Notes, & The Nonfiction Detectives and I introduced readers to a new feature we called Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries.  Each segment will explore nonfiction texts around a particular topic. 

Today's topic is volcanoes!  Don't forget to check out the other posts as part of this series. 

     * Louise Capizzo, children’s librarian & Cathy Potter, school librarian: The Nonfiction Detectives
     * Mary Ann Scheuer, school librarian: Great Kid Books

Check out the following Early Readers Volcanoes for 1st to 3rd grade:

Danger! Volcanoes (SeeMore Readers Level 2) - Seymour Simon
Publisher: StarWalk Kids Media (February 1, 2011 - original publication date: March 1, 2001)
ISBN: 978-0439467827
Read Aloud Level: 1st-3rd grade
Independent Reading Level: 2nd to 4th grade
Source: Purchased; Personal Copy

My thoughts on this book:
For those familiar with Seymour Simon's Smithsonian Collins Series of books, you will recognize the style of text and photographs in this Level 2 reader.  Simon is strong at pairing up information with amazing photographs.  Key vocabulary is highlighted but still require children to look up the definitions or for teachers to create a list of vocabulary with definitions for students to reference.

This is a no frills reader.  You won't find fancy info-graphics or other features.  There is a link for readers to download "trading cards" about various volcanoes. Simon's website has a significant number of resources to check out and additional teacher guides. Thanks to the photographs and straight-forward text, this Level 2 reader can be used with a wide range of students at a variety of grade levels. 

Volcanoes! (National Geographic Kids Readers Level 2) - Elizabeth Carney; Photographs by: various
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books (July 8, 2008)
ISBN: 978-1426302851
Read Aloud Level: 1st to 3rd grade
Independent Reading Level: High 1st grade to High 3rd grade
Source: Purchased; Personal Copy

My thoughts on this book:
Volcanoes! National Geographic Readers Level 2 combines readable text with joke-like questions and answers (Q: What did the volcano eat for lunch? A: Ashed Potatoes), key vocabulary, and hot facts.  There is nothing boring about a National Geographic Reader, and if anything, I find that these books are really a bit more than your standard early reader.

As an educator, I appreciate the obvious effort that National Geographic invests in their early reader series.  Not every child is drawn to informational text; however, with a reader like Volcanoes! there is certainly something for every student.  For an initial read through, children can simply read the text.  With additional readings, students can check out the jokes, or the hot facts scattered throughout the pages.  There are also vibrant illustrations, interesting graphics, and a few fun pages such as "Postcards from the Ring". 

Despite the amount of information packed into 32 pages, there was obvious intention to the design of the book. Volcanoes! can be an informational read aloud, or an independent read for children in 2nd and 3rd grade.  However, teachers of older readers who may struggle with informational text or those who work with English Language Learners who benefit from visuals and definitions to key vocabulary will also find these books to be a valuable resource.

Common Core Standards Associated with Texts listed above:

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

First Grade:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.10 With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

Second Grade:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Key Idea and Details

First Grade:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.9 Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Second Grade:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
For my regular Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday readers, you call still link up your nonfiction review and let us know in the comment section what you think of Common Core IRL.