Hey – I hope you have found time to read nonfiction to your students and are discovering the power of these books to pull kids into reading more. I have a question for you. What are some of the nonfiction titles you have been reading aloud to them? The Librarian of Basra by J. Winter? Spiders by Nic Bishop? What Bluebirds Do? by P. Kirby? How many of the titles are written as narratives – in a sense the text tells a story like in The Librarian of Basra? How many of the titles are written as non-narratives – like Bishop’s Spiders? When I first thought about this, I realized that I was reading mostly narrative nonfiction to students.
I was reinforcing their understanding of story because these texts usually include the basic elements of a plot – character, setting, conflict and so forth. I realized I needed to be reading just as much or more non-narrative aloud to students so I could reinforce their understanding of related text structures. If I read aloud non-narrative, students would “develop an ear” for what this type of text should sound like. Then when they go to read and write nonfiction independently, they would know what this type of text should sound like – in a sense, you know?
So…back to the question. Are you reading aloud enough non-narrative nonfiction?