Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Non-Required Reading

As you can tell by reading Tanya’s post, she and the other INK THINK TANK ERS are all hard at work trying to spread the word that nonfiction books should be an essential teaching tool to transform teaching within the curriculum.

So while they tackle that behemoth, I’d like to point out that there are other ways that nonfiction can be useful. Truth is, non fiction been shown to be highly effective in giving children something to read that they find interesting. Kids can actually learn about something that is not a subject they are required to study in school. Yep, nonfiction just for the fun of it: imagine.

Below is a list of some nonfiction books I have read to a variety of elementary school classes. These had nothing to do with what we were studying on a given day. Some are historical; several of them mention underwear (a fabulous extra bonus). I read them as an extra treat, just for pure reading enjoyment. And the kids loved them. You can even try this at home.

Eleanor by Barbara Cooney
George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra
Leonardo’s Horse by Jean Fritz
New York, New York. The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed
Odd Boy Out. Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown
Strong Man. The Story of Charles Atlas by Meghan McCarthy
The Book of Time Outs by Deb Lucke
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley
When I Grow Up. A Young Person’s Guide to Interesting and Unusual Occupations. by Jessica Loy
Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! By Shana Corey

I can think of lots more. I'm sure others can too. If anyone would like more suggestions, just let us know.

1 comment:

Susan E. Goodman said...

I will actually move one of my suggested books from Tanya's list to yours. Tony Robinson's The Worst Children's Jobs in History is great. It's very witty so kids are intrigued while they're learning about kids' lives in different time periods--and not such great times either. Imagine being a tooth donor so your tooth replaces the rotten one that had to be pulled from some rich guy's mouth.