It's Spit-acular!
Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children's Books
Nonfiction for children has undergone exciting changes in recent years, evolving into a new breed of visually dynamic, engaging texts that delight as well as inform. The timing of these groundbreaking changes couldn’t be better, as ELA standards put an increased focus on nonfiction reading and writing. As a result, finely crafted nonfiction children’s books are ideally suited for augmenting content area curricula, serving as reliable resources for research projects, acting as mentor texts for writing workshop and, as always, serving as a great source for pleasure reading.
In 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children’s Books, present a simple, practical system for sorting nonfiction into five major categories (active, browseable, traditional, expository literature, and narrative) and describe how classifying books in this way can help teachers and students effectively utilize the books in a school setting. Along the way, they:
  • explore each of the categories through discussions, classroom examples, and insights from leading children’s book authors
  • offer tips for building strong, diverse classroom and library collections
  • provide more than 20 small group, whole-class, and whole-school activities to enhance literacy instruction
  • include innovative strategies for sharing and celebrating nonfiction with students
With more than 150 exemplary nonfiction book recommendations and Stewart and Correia’s extensive knowledge of literacy instruction, 5 Kinds of Nonfiction will elevate your understanding of nonfiction in ways that speak specifically to the info-kids in your classrooms, but will inspire all readers and writers.
Behind the Book
“In an effort to better understand the wide world of nonfiction books for children, Melissa began developing a nonfiction family tree in 2012. Her goal was to identify the various categories of books available and show the relationships among them. She published a few different versions of the family tree on her blog, but none of them seemed quite right.
“In 2013, Melissa learned that a group of highly-respected educators who called themselves the Uncommon Corps had developed a nonfiction taxonomy. She was fascinated by their ideas. Although the group’s classification system never caught on, Melissa began an ongoing dialogue with several members. Marc Aronson, Sue Bartle, Mary Ann Cappiello, and Myra Zarnowski have all influenced the way she thinks about nonfiction.
“Over the next four years, Melissa continued to refine her thinking, and by December 2017, her family tree seemed truly useful. When she posted it on her blog, the response was tremendous. Teachers, librarians, children’s book authors, and editors all loved the idea of classifying nonfiction into five categories—active nonfiction, browseable nonfiction, traditional nonfiction, expository literature, and narrative nonfiction. People praised the clarity the classification system brought to the range of children’s nonfiction available today.
“Eventually, Melissa realized that a tree model wasn’t the most effective way to represent her ideas, and she began referring to her classification system as the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction.
“In 2018, Stenhouse editor Terry Thompson saw Melissa give a presentation about the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction at nErDcamp in Parma, Michigan, and invited her to write a book about the classification system for educators. Melissa liked the idea, but knew, she’d need a partner who had teaching experience as well as a love of nonfiction for kids. Marlene Correia, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Bridgewater State College, was the perfect choice.”
5 Kinds of Nonfiction
by Melissa Stewart
and Marlene Correia
Stenhouse Publishers, 2021
for Grades K to 8
ISBN 978-1-62531-417-8
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