I have been spending the summer reading. I’ve read professionally, personally and for the classroom. I am participating in Donlayn Miller’s Book-a-Day Challenge. With the onset of the Common Core State Standards, I have been trying to read more non-fiction this summer and trying to figure out how I can tie it into the standards and my classroom. According to the standards in 4th, students should be reading 50% literary text and 50% informational text. By 8th, 45% literary and 55% information. Finally by 12th grade the criteria should be 30% literary and 70% informational text.
One CCSS, Reading Information Text 9 (K-5) discusses how from kindergarten to fifth grade students should be comparing and contrasting two informational texts on the same topic. One resource, of many I will use for this is Wonderopolis. Below are the some nonfiction books that I have read so fair during my Book-a-Day adventure that I may use in my classroom. I have also included the Wonders that could be used to compare and contrast with the informational texts.
Looking at Lincoln
by Maria Kalman
This is a great story of Abraham Lincoln. Some of the story is told in a question/answer format. After the question is asked, the answer is expanded. The book discusses Abraham Lincoln’s life including, his love for reading, his height, his family, the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address and finally his asassination.
I would use Wonder of the Day #132 Where Was Abraham Lincoln Born? to compare and contrast to the book. The Wonder primarily deals with Abraham Lincoln’s early years, where as the book is about his entire life.
Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life
by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm
Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?
by Robert E. Wells
Both of theses stories are about how everything on earth is dependent on the sun. Living Sunlight How Plants Bring the Earth to Life has almost a poetry feel to it where as Why Do Elephants Need Sun? is a mixture between traditional informational text and a picture book.
Both of these books could be used to compare and contrast their topics. There are several Wonders that either of these books could be compared and contrasted with including, #332 How Hot Is the Sun?, #487 Do All Plants Have Roots? and #589 How Do Seeds Sprout?
by Sneed B. Collard III
This is a fabulous book about different kinds of animals and their wings. I love the format of this book because each page is a short text. Rather than read the entire book, you could choose a few pages and share those.
There are several creatures in the book that are included in Wonders, including dragonflies #615 Do Dragonflies Breathe Fire?, hummingbirds #556 Do Hummingbirds Really Hum? and vultures and falcons #483 What Is a Raptor?
Wolfsnails a Backyard Predator
by Sarah C. Campbell
I love how this book shows (with real photographs) and tells the voyage a wolfsnail takes when looking for food (a snail). It is also a great example of a nonfiction circular story. Along the wolfsnail’s journey the book tells how a snail and wolfsnail are different.
There is an excellent Wonder related to this book, #544 How Are Slugs and Snails Different?
by Steve Voake
Insect Detective is a story about a boy, who’s an insect detective and ventures through his backyard finding insects. I love how the story ends, “Sometimes, when you think about these strange and wonderful things–moths hiding, ands talking, dragonflies changing–it’s hard to believe that they could really be true. But you don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is open the door and step outside.”
There are several insects and concepts described in the book that would be perfect to compare and contrast to Wonders. Some of the topics and Wonders include, camouflage #342 Do Animals Play Hide and Seek?, ants #258 Why Do Ants Think They’re Invited To Picnics? and dragonflies #615 Do Dragonflies Breathe Fire?.
Lowdown on Earthworms
by Norma Dixon
This book tells everything you want to know about earthworms from why they’re “humble heroes” to how they work. I especially like how it shows and tells how to make your own wormery, which I think I might try next year in my classroom. Think of all the wondering that could go on with a class wormery.
The Wonder that would be great for comparing and contrasting to this book is, #513 Where Do Worms Go in Winter?