Saturday, September 9, 2017

How to Find Engaging Non-Fiction Books and Assignments

Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti

Look to Child High Interest Topics

Google what you are looking for: "Disneyland Non-Fiction Reader" and be specific. Learn your students' interests - survey them, ask them, observe them - know what they like - this also helps with classroom management, but that is another post.

The Common Core State Standards demand more non-fiction - and while that most definitely means social studies and science are in the mix - we can't forget about other topics students may enjoy - particularly if they are science or social studies themed already.


Look to Lists of the Best Non-Fiction for Children

Booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Nobel both calculate best selling non-fiction for children, youth and young adults. 

Googling prestigious awards - like the Caldecott  or browsing the American Library Association's sites for top non-fiction picks for children provide list upon list of great reads for students. The websites are easy to get lost in as they offer book lovers and non-fiction seeking teachers minutes  - or hours - of dreaming about all of the amazing books published in any given year. 

The National Counsel of Teacher's of English is another valuable site for non-fiction finding - including this year's winner: Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. This is also an American Library Association notable book. Honorable mention books include:

  •  Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
  • The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial written by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by E. B. Lewis (Bloomsbury)
  • Giant Squid by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann (Roaring Brook Press)
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z!: Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Olinguito, from A to Z: Unveiling the Cloud Forest by Lulu Delacre (Children’s Book Press)

The National Council of Teachers of English breaks lists down by elementary, middle, high school and college as well.

Look for Downloadable ebooks and Interactive Readers 

Below are great, quick readers for whole class study, groups, literacy centers, homework, early finishers anytime and can be had with the click of a button.

Disneyland: California Screamin' Print-and-Go Reader – Grade 5 – one in is a series of English Language Arts mini-readers that allows students to incorporate engaging and essential ELA themes and standards while learning about fun places to visit. Perfect for centers, early finishers, ESL, intervention, whole class instruction, SPaG and more. These non-fiction readers are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and help students build a knowledge of the social world and prepare them for real-life reading

Disney’s California Adventures: California Screamin’ – contain 12-print and go pages of activities that include: fluency practice, comprehension, word play, informational text , grammar, study and more.

Perfect for whole class, groups, pairs, intervention, centers and more. Use with the entire Journey series for a comprehensive fifth grade program. Works for summer school as well.

• Twelve pages in color and also in black and white for printing ease
• Great for students learning English
• Great for early finishers
• Work in pairs for intervention 

Students practice reading, writing, grammar, critical thinking and 21st century skills
• Access their creativity 
• Learn new words
• Learn about new places


Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti Intervention


Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti

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Other Disney Lessons for Teachers and Homeschoolers

Print-n-Go Reader - Adventureland Disneyland - Elementary: Common Core State Standards Aligned Disneyland: Adventureland: – contains 9-print and go pages of activities that include: fluency practice, comprehension, word play, informational text study and more.

Perfect for whole class, groups, pairs, intervention, centers and more. Use with the entire Journey series for a comprehensive fifth grade program. Works for summer school as well.

• Nine pages in color and also in black and white for printing ease
• Great for students learning English
• Great for early finishers
• Work in pairs for intervention 

Students practice reading, writing and speaking skills
• Access their creativity 
• Learn new words
• Learn about new places








For Further Reading:

Why Non-Fiction is Important to Learning
Formative Assessment - Fiction and Non-Fiction Readings - or any assignment
The Great Panda Rescue - Non-Fiction reading through literature!



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