We all know and recognize the importance of children reading and comprehending nonfiction. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy task due to lack of books and the difficult levels of text. My students spent a few weeks specifically studying the conventions of nonfiction. We created nonfiction convention flip books and they designed my bulletin board displaying these conventions. This board stays up all year and they can use it as a resource. Once students are familiar with the conventions they each choose a topic of interest and do an in depth study utilizing nonfiction picture books and the internet. They create wondering questions and those become the highlights of their search. As a culminating project we created nonfiction posters that represent their wonderings and research. Of course they had to "write like a reader" and utilize nonfiction conventions just as our authors do!
We completed this study months ago, but I must say I was beyond thrilled this past week when several of my students were using terms such as "cutaways"and "close-ups" when reading their science textbooks!
I received many of my nonfiction ideas from Debbie Miller and her book Reading for Meaning.