Thursday, December 05, 2013
Thankful For the Public Library!
The first thing you notice when you walk into my room is the books -- six shelves there (with tubs across the tops of all of them), a homemade cinderblock and plank shelf there, two tall ones there, two short ones under the chalk tray there, the one behind the small table that serves as my desk...books are everywhere.
And yet, as I worked on the details of how I would approach the nonfiction unit we were set to start this week, the details about what other kinds of learning I was going to aim for beyond the standards that guided our planning, I realized I didn't have enough nonfiction books.
Praise be for the ability to place reserves online!
Praise be for TWO library cards -- a citizen card plus an educator card!
I have 17 different volumes in the Scientists in the Field series checked out. I want to explore with my students what kind of stamina it takes to read longer nonfiction. (No, these aren't the only longer nonfiction choices they'll have, but what a great place to start, eh?)
I have 22 books by Steve Jenkins checked out. These books support a range of readers. And they are already noticing what I hoped they would -- the very narrow and creative topic choices Jenkins makes. I want him to be a mentor for their topic selection when we get deeper into the writing portion of this unit.
I have 9 books by Don Brown checked out (this is his newest ...with a name like Don Brown, it's hard to do an author search on Amazon!). He's coming to the Dublin Literacy Conference in February! He writes more literary nonfiction, without the internal text features we often see in nonfiction and with more of a story arc as the structure. He has great "stepping stone" books that might get a reader interested in a topic that they will explore further. This is another sub-goal I have for this nonfiction unit.
(If it feels like I'm stopping this post without fully explaining everything -- like I did with my word study choice time post yesterday -- blame #nerdlution. This is my 30 minutes to write and if I don't stop now, I won't get showered and a lunch made and to school on time! At least this one is better edited than yesterday's [I hope]. I'm planning to update the word study choice post with information that answers some of the questions in the comments. What else are you wondering about our nonfiction study?)