Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - National Geographic Super Readers

Thank you everyone for all of the great posts each week for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2014. This week I am doing something a little different and presenting a series of books and how I recently used them with first graders.

National Geographic Readers Series:

Recently, I did a presentation for a group of teachers and shared a variety of nonfiction and informational books that have come out in the last couple of years.  Some of the teachers were familiar with the National Geographic Readers and other books for children, and some were completely new to the incredible books.  I was excited that they were able to explore the books and think about how to use them in the classroom.

Today, I am just focusing on the Super Readers (Leveled Readers), which are divided into four categories:

Pre-Reader"Pre-reader" books are just right for kids who are ready to read.

Level 1: "Starting to Read" books or just right for kids who are beginning to read on their own.

Level 2: "Reading Independently" books are perfect for kids who are read for longer sentences and more complex vocabulary.  New words are defined on the page, but occasional adult help might be welcome.

Level 3: "Fluent Reader" books are ideal for kids who are reading on their own with ease, and are ready for more challenging vocabulary and varied sentence structures.

About the Series:
National Geographic Science Readers is a high-interest, science inquiry series in an exciting and easy-to-read format. Each book falls into one of five reading levels and is labeled by level on its front cover. The simple, fun text with pull-quotes is only the beginning: National Geographic photography and kid-friendly diagrams draw kids in and get them reading about their favorite subjects.

Developed by National Geographic in close consultation with literacy education experts, this new series is one teachers, librarians, parents, and grandparents know they can trust to nurture every child's love of reading.

Cost: Individual Books cost approximately $3.99/book; Collections (4 books in 1) are $7.95

My thoughts on these readers:
I am a huge fan of these books. From the gorgeous photographs, to the vocabulary words and glossary, to the humorous questions and answers, to the interesting facts, these books provide students with excellent and highly engaging reading material.

Last week, I took a set of readers and other National Geographic books for children into a first grade class.  I projected an ebook version of one of the readers onto a screen so that we could look at the book together.  As we flipped through it, we talked about all of the special features: title, table of content, headings, labels, diagrams, images, photographs, and more.

Next, students worked with a partner to look through a couple of readers and see what they could discover. 

At first, it was a bit confusing. This was the first time that they were learning about text features.  I would wander from group to group checking in on them and talking about what they were finding.

Despite the task being new, they were really interested in what they were doing.  I think the books had a lot to do with it.  There is a great range in topics and levels which allowed everyone to find something that they loved.  

It was really rewarding to see how focused they were and how much they really were enjoying the books.  I plan to continue working with the readers with this group of students.  They are quick learners and I know that they will be able to grasp the various names and purposes of different features.

Check out the Official National Geographic Super Reader Trailer:

For additional National Geographic Sites: National Geographic Kids | National Geographic Education

Where to find National Geographic Readers: Check out your local bookstores, or library.  The following websites can also help you find the books:  IndieBound | WorldCat

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews: