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Transcript of NonFiction
Op/Ed Newspaper Item
Types of Nonfiction Text
Purpose of NonFictionText
Written to convey
information and read to
Reference books -
Purpose is to explain, inform, define, clarify
Appears similar to fiction
Primary difference - True to Life
Persuasive - Attempts to change the reader's beliefs or actions
What Makes a Non Fiction
Engaging Writing Style
What Makes a Non Fiction
*N. Alexandra Bluestein. "Unlocking Text Features for Determining Importance in Expository Text: A Strategy for Struggling Readers." The Reading Teacher 63.7 (2010): 597-600. ProQuest. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Amount of Information
What Features of Nonfiction
are Important to Students?*
"Creative fiction" -
Extension Activities -
*Gill, Sharon Ruth . "What Teachers Need to Know about the "New" Nonfiction." The Reading Teacher 63.4 (2010): 260-7. ProQuest. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Look for books with attractive and accurate illustrations, page layouts that break up text, borders and other interesting design features, attractive and readable typefaces, and appropriate use of color for page backgrounds, text, and other features. Gill (2010)
Look for books with consultants listed and source notes or other features that contain information about the research process. In addition, choose books in which the illustrations accurately depict the content, and in which the information is presently realistically, without anthropomorphism. *Gill (2010)
Look for books that make good teachers! Good nonfiction books should be well organized, should grab readers' attention, take readers' likely background knowledge into consideration, and clearly explain new terms. In addition, look for books that present information in creative ways, and that encourage reader interaction with the text. Gill (2010)
- Organizational Features
Be selective of the texts you choose for instruction by looking for those that incorporate:
Table of Contents
Photos and Captions
Setting - Teaches importance of time period, location, events
Characterization - Essence of biographies
What is the importance of the person's actions,
What are the effects this person's actions, words,
feelings have on others
Photos and Captions
Maps, and graphs
Text boxes, subheadings, and bold words
How do the text features draw attention and emphasize important information?
Opportunities for analysis and further investigation
Table of Contents
Headings and Subheadings
Very Important Words and Summarizing
Opportunities for deeper understanding
*From Duthie, Christine. "NONFICTION: A GENRE STUDY FOR THE PRIMARY CLASSROOM." Language Arts 71.8 (1994): 588-95. ProQuest. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Label drawings Put information into sets or groups
Put extra information at the end [tables] Use drawings
Use photographs Use several drawings on one page to show changes
Write about one part at a time Say it in an interesting way
Put in a glossary Put in an index
Lead with a question Put the parts in ABC order
Make a cross-sectioned drawing Tell how to make something
Use a little bit of fiction Write information like a poem
Use a map Use a good lead
Put captions under pictures Put in a table
Use a good title Put captions in a different print
Use highlighting Write about someone's life
"Things We Found That Nonfiction Writers Can Do"
Access to materials
"Students must tackle expository text themselves to become fluent and strategic readers of this genre. In order for students to do so, teachers need to directly instruct how to navigate and extract information (RAND, 2002). This requires a shift from teachers reading aloud difficult material to strategic reading instruction in appropriately leveled materials and from interpreting text to giving students skills to interpret text for themselves. But to do this, teachers need enough books-either classroom sets or multiple copies for small groups-and they need to model techniques and strategies for reading."
Palmer, Rosemary G. and Roger, A. Stewart . "Models for using Nonfiction in the Primary Grades." The Reading Teacher 58.5 (2005): 426-34. ProQuest. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
"However, formal and stylistic aspects are neither necessary nor sufficient characteristics: Authors of fiction may refrain from using any of these stylistic features and at the same time nonfictional works may include poetic language or any other of these elements. Similar objections can be raised with regard to semantic approaches. Fictional narratives frequently involve a protagonist who has no equivalent in the outside world and whose actions may be impossible based on our current conception of natural laws. However, nonfictional texts may consist of invented content (e.g., word problems in a math textbook and “what-if” scenarios in a scientific paper, e.g., Lebow, 2006). And—most importantly—fictional narratives may provide accounts that are perfectly in line with real-world events and facts (Schreier, 2004). "
Appel, M. and Malečkar, B. (2012), The Influence of Paratext on Narrative Persuasion: Fact, Fiction, or Fake?. Human Communication Research, 38: 459–484. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2012.01432.x
Keep nonfiction notebooks (typically spiral notebooks with
lined paper) to hold their thinking related to their nonfiction
reading, writing, and inquiry. The Wonder
Book provides a record of student thinking and learning
as they engage in nonfiction inquiry through writing, responding,
Wonder Books include:
• Questions and wonderings from readings
• Current thoughts/ideas from readings
• Project ideas
• Responses to nonfiction reading
• Notes on reading content
• Notes on topics of interest
• Notes on field research
• Notes on inquiry projects
• Bibliographic information on books that were read
• Lists of helpful resources: Web sites, readings, conversations,
• Outlines, webs, and other graphic organizers
• Poems and rhymes
• Drawings, sketches, cartoons, and doodles
• Maps, charts, graphs, and diagrams
• Notes on photographs, pictures, and postcards/ Own pp&p related to the readings
• Assorted artifacts
• Quotes from books, writers, teachers, other kids
• Models of beautiful language and well-written
• Drafts of nonfiction writing
Harvey, Stephanie. "Nonfiction Inquiry: Using Real Reading and Writing to Explore the World." Language Arts 80.1 (September 2002): 12-22. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/
From San Mateo County Library Website
Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/smcl/4390976720/
Nonfiction Lit Circles -
After reading A Splash of Red, The Noisy Paint Box, Balloons over Broadway, When the beat was born, and I Am Malala, students complete a lit circle response sheet, then share with their group
Use the information to compare and contrast observations regarding main idea, favorite part/"big events," continuing questions, connections to other people/stories/events
Nonfiction Lit Circles
Retrieved from http://www.lauracandler.com/filecabinet/literacy/PDFLC/nonfoldable.pdf
Rationale for Genre Study
"Vito Perrone (1994) says, “Our students need to be able to use knowledge,
not just know about things. Understanding is about making connections among and between things, about deep and not surface knowledge, and about greater complexity, not simplicity” (p. 13). Nonfiction enhances our understanding." Harvey, 2002
"...with nonfiction available for emergent readers, students can read books on their independent and instructional reading levels. As a consequence, teachers and librarians face new and exciting challenges as they find, choose, and incorporate nonfiction into their instruction. " Palmer and Stewart, 2005
"Today's nonfiction children's books provide new ways to convey information, and teachers must learn new ways to share these books with children. " Gill, 2010
"By providing our struggling readers the opportunity to dive headfirst into experiencing how to determine importance in nonfiction texts, as their teachers, we afford them invaluable instructional experiences that will serve to deepen and expand their understanding of what they read." Bluestein, 2010
High Quality Nonfiction Books
American Library Association Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
2014 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
Awards based on accuracy, organization, design, style
Encourages thinking and additional research
Models exemplary writing
Shares information relevant to wide range of standards and skills, incorporates skills across the curriculum
Winner of the 2012 Sibert Medal
Winner of the 2012 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
"...mixed-media layouts ...photo-collages with old books, cut paper, imagined sketches, watercolor images of parade scenes and much more. Endpapers inform and delight... with excerpts from a 1929 book about Sarg's marionettes and a front-page parade invitation in the 1933New York Times. Backmatter is also a collage of treats, with further biographical details and comments about the art... marriage of information and illustration ... (bibliography of adult sources, quote sources, acknowledgements, period photo)" Kirkus Review
'Includes four paintings by Kandinsky with information regarding their locations, an author’s note about Kandinsky's life, sources, links to websites on synesthesia (disability/different ability thought to have been behind Kandinsky's approach to art) and abstract art' - from publisher's site
Visually appealing, accurate, and interesting!
Relates to art, history, literature, science
Relates to a wide range of ages
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award - given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values
2014 CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People Reading List
"an expert biography of a hip hop and rap pioneer, and a not-to-be-missed picture-book debut" Publishers Weekly
Includes Author's notes on the history of the era
Includes a timeline of events from 1973 to 1986
Includes Hip-Hop Bibliography - books, film/DVD, websites
International Children Peace Prize (2012)
Goodreads Choice Winner for Memoir & Autobiography (2013)
"Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons."
Opportunities for study of current global geopolitical climate and comparison/contrast of different areas of the world
Capture the important details about your person -
What did they accomplish?
What was it about their character that led them to succeed?
Did their environment influence their life? Show how.
Present exerpts from text to explain your characterization.
Create a Classroom Museum
Search the internet to find examples of work by Horace Pippin, Vasily Kandinsky, Tony Sarg, and DJ Kool Herc. Find images and speeches of Malala Yousafzai. Download examples of their work, then create your own art, music, dance, or speech patterned after the character's work.
Present your work to visitors (other classes, parents), dressed as your character, explaining the impact your character had on the world in which s/he lived. Compare their work to others before him/her.
Contact the author of one story.
Ask them five questions about their
book. What are the "burning
questions" you have? (Hint:
Use your I Wonder Book to
develop your questions and have
them reviewed by me before
Research the main character from one book. Find information to support the author's characterization or refute the characterization with credible sources.
Example: :"Zulu Nation Says DJ Kool Herc Did Not Start Hip Hop And Is Misrepresenting The Culture" http://ahh.fm/?p=204007
Is AllHipHop.com a credible source?
Nonfiction - Not just resource materials anymore!
By: Mary Paris
February 20, 2014
A Closer Look at Diversity
In each of these books, there is someone who has to overcome difficulties due to diversity. Can you find the challenge(s) one main character had to overcome? What were they?
How did the character accomplish his or her goals, in spite of his/her disability or difference?
Who supported this person in achieving their goals?
How did society respond to this person's differences?
Is society the same or different now?
Would this person be successful today? Why or why not?
Look at the lives and work of Horace Pippin and Vasily Kandinsky. How are their paintings different?
Contrast how the two men became painters. How do you think their experiences influence their painting styles?
Use facts, details, and information from the books to support your statements.
Bibliography of Nonfiction Books:
Bryant, J., & Sweet, M. (2013). A splash of red the life and art of Horace Pippin. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Hill, L. C., & Taylor, T. (2013). When the beat was born: DJ Kool Herc and the creation of hip hop. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
Rosenstock, B. (2014). Noisy paint box : The colors and sounds of kandinsky's abstract art. New York, NY: Random House.
Sweet, M. (2011). Balloons over Broadway: the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children.
Yousafzai, M. (2013). I am Malala: The schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban. London, UK: Orion Publishing Group.
Can be tailored to any age or grade level
With Questions, Becomes Upper Elementary
As written, middle elementary