Whenever I select books to read aloud to my K-5 students I tend to gravitate towards fiction. Usually this is because of the format: large picture books usually come with great illustrations. But there are plenty of nonfiction books that are perfect for large(er) audiences. Here are some of my nonfiction picture book picks for World Read Aloud Day (or week as the case may be!). What are your favorite nonfiction read-alouds, both past and present?
The Buck Stops Here: The Presidents of the United States
Written and illustrated by Alice Provensen
This picture book works two-fold: as a rhyming read-aloud that briefly describes each president (the 2010 edition include Barack Obama) combined with detailed illustrations and captions that are perfect for post read-aloud persuasion.
Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map
Written by Sue Macy
Illustrated by Matt Collins
This boldly illustrated picture book recounts the first basketball game played between the women of Stanford and UC Berkeley in 1896. Told through the eyes of player Agnes Morley, it deftly weaves facts about the women’s “version” of the sport and includes a nice bibliography and author’s note for more study. Large, broad illustrations will reach even those sitting in back row of the story time carpet.
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
Written by Laban Carrick Hill
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
In my library, this book evoked many, many questions from my fourth graders, which is what an ideal non-fiction picture book can do. Questions included, “How did they know he was a slave?”, “How did they know the pots were made by Dave?”, and “Are there any of his pots that survive today?”. Fortunately, this book, illustrated in lovely earthen tones, provides information on examining what is know about this man, who lived as a slave and a potter in 1800s North Carolina.
Henry’s Freedom Box
Written by Ellen Levine
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Every year I read this book to my fourth graders and every year the wonder and tragedy of the entire situation, from Henry’s family being sold away to his idea to mail himself to Philadelphia, have my students riveted. We conclude this read-aloud by taping off the dimensions of Henry’s “freedom box” so that students can have an idea of the confined space in which he traveled.
Star of the Sea
Written by Janet Halfmann
Illustrated by Joan Paley
This nonfiction text does a great job of demonstrating how facts can be linked together to create interesting narration. A Montessori class at my school read this book about the starfish, how it hunts and regenerates limbs to a kindergarten class at Amy’s school for World Read Aloud Day this week. My students loved the illustrations.
What are some of your favorite nonfiction read alouds?
The March Passport is now available. Use this passport to help your class keep track of the nonfiction the class reads together or students can track individual progress as well. For those of us with color printing restrictions, this could be used as the background for a Smart Notebook or Inspire page for an interactive white board. It could also be printed in grayscale.
Click on the image below to save. You can then edit the March Passport as needed. If you don’t feel the need to edit, click on the linked PDF. The passport was created using the Comic Life app.
Passport Nonfiction is back with a calendar for March. Seeing as March is home to both Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day, all of our Passport Nonfiction themes tie into reading. You can right click on the calendar picture below to save it or you can download the passportnfmarch pdf. Happy reading!
Nonfiction Creator Roles: Author and Photographer
Nic Bishop’s photographs transport the reader to places around the world. Animals and their habitats are displayed in breathtaking detail. He offers glimpses into the lives of small creatures as well as those that are endangered. Bishop has collaborated with both Joy Cowley and Sy Montgomery. Bishop’s first started taking pictures when he was nine years old, and he studied biology when he was in school.
Books relating to this week’s theme of Animal’s Hot and Cold:
Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
Frogs by Nic Bishop
Students may also enjoy:
Kakapo Rescue by Sy Montgomery
This post created by Sarah @pageintraining
A challenge that could work well with Passport Nonfiction would be the Non-Fiction Picture Challenge. This could be a great challenge for students, teachers, librarians or classes together. Simply pick a goal for the number of nonfiction picture books you would like to read and start. You might want your challenge books to match the current themes on the Passport Nonfiction calendar. If you have a blog and want to join this challenge, please visit Kid Lit Frenzy’s challenge <a href=”http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/2011/12/reading-challenge-for-2012-non-fiction.html” title=”Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge” target=”_blank”>post</a>. The Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge is being run by Kid Lit Frenzy and the Nonfiction Detectives.
In a classroom or library have students keep track of the non-fiction picture books they’ve read. Students could post slips with the titles they read. A poster with tally marks could be created toward the class goal. Covers of the books they’ve read could be posted on a website as a slideshow or be used on a digital photo frame. Create a class notebook with reviews and notes for other students to explore.
Create a display of nonfiction picture books to catch your students’ interest. Let them see what is available and invite them to explore!
Please let Passport Nonfiction know about any displays you create so they can be highlighted here.
Check out the suggested reads on the January 2012 calendar for Passport Nonfiction. Amy B. of Classic Six Books kindly designed this month’s calendar. More information about our chosen themes can be found on our Monthly Calendar page.
Right click on the image to save it or click on the link to the pdf to download a copy.
The January Passport is now available. Use this passport to help your class keep track of the nonfiction the class reads together or students can track individual progress as well. For those of us with color printing restrictions, this could be used as the background for a Smart Notebook or Inspire page for an interactive white board. It could also be printed in grayscale.
Click on the image below to save. You can then edit the January Passport as needed. If you don’t feel the need to edit, click on the linked PDF. The January Passport was created using the Comic Life app.
Nonfiction allows readers to explore the world around them and how it works. There are stories of heroic animals, the tenuous survival of unusual animals, medical treatment in the middle ages and more available. Bitter enemies become friends and barriers are broken. Stunning photographs transport children to different places around the globe.
Passport Nonfiction is a year long celebration of children’s nonfiction launching in January 2012. At Passport Nonfiction, you’ll find reading calendars that can be used for student challenges, book displays and more. In the year ahead we’ll share ways to highlight nonfiction, teaching ideas and other resources. We hope you’ll make nonfiction part of your 2012 reading life!