Thanks to Cathy, Mandy, and Julie for hosting this event! Since one of my goals this year is to read more nonfiction books that I can use with my first graders, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to build my book stack
And then I started scouring my book baskets for my "must have" nonfiction titles to share. Why was it so hard to find my "must-haves" for teaching nonfiction?! If I have such a hard time finding nonfiction titles that I love, what does this say about how I'm using nonfiction with my first grade readers? After some soul-searching and more digging through baskets of books, I put together a list that I can live with and can share proudly. My list includes books that my first graders cherish, as well as books that I think help me to make nonfiction more accessible to early readers. And so... here we go!
I believe this was the very first nonfiction book I shared with my students this year, and it was met with great excitement and curiosity! It quickly became a class favorite and is still being read today. Kids love the oh-so-adorable baby animals, and I loved the information presented. ABC ZooBorns also has an app that appears to be very highly rated!
I even learned new information about snow with this one! We read it on Tumblebooks, which prompted me to buy a copy for our classroom library. It gives fascinating facts about snow along with beautiful photographs.
I had to list these two together as they are a perfect match! I think both books really help us to show the importance of fostering curiosity and wonder in our classrooms... and where that can take us. While I've read both books, I'm looking forward to sharing these two titles with my first graders for the first time this year!
Just last week, we had our annual VIP event where we invite our grandparents (or other family members if grandparents can't make it) into our classroom. I love that this book helps us to understand our similarities and celebrate our differences, both before and after the event.
(Pebble Plus books)
I added this particular Pebble Plus title because I just got it as a part of a pack from our Scholastic book order, but really, I am a big fan of all Pebble Plus books! There is a huge variety of topics written in a way that makes it easy, even for my lowest readers. Next year, I believe our district will also have a subscription to the PebbleGo site. We had a free trial of it earlier this year, and I loved it! It also provides great nonfiction in a way that is easily accessible to emerging readers.
(National Geographic Kids)
Ok, I kind of feel like I'm cheating now... but I chose this title so I could include this series of books, too! The National Geographic Kids books are passed from reader to reader in my classroom. There is such a variety of topics, and each one includes so many different nonfiction text features.
So, as I'm writing this post, I'm finding that I am more of a fan of nonfiction series than of individual titles. And I think I'm okay with that! I know I can count on many of these series to grab a reader and provide information on a topic they choose. If you haven't seen the "See More Readers" series by Seymour Simon, they provide the same attention grabbing writing for which Seymour is famous. These are available at different text complexities (I think from a "Level 1" to a "Level 3".)
(Ready to Read books)
This is another series that has been quite popular in my classroom! Ready to Read books fit that same mold of having lots of variety in topics (animals, machinery, bugs, and more) in an easy-to-navigate format for young readers.
While I don't really teach "themes" so much any more, one topic that we study each year is the Iditarod and Alaska. We learn about map skills, geography, research, and this last great race on Earth through our study every March. This is a new title from Scholastic, so I'm looking forward to sharing it with my kids this year. It's written for older readers (I'd guess 3rd-5th grades,) but I know there is lots of information I can and will share! And I just have to put this out there for your personal reading... if you are interested in learning more about mushing, you HAVE to read this hilarious and heartwarming narrative by Gary Paulsen called Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod!
Now that I've compiled my list and realized I am mostly a fan of lots of different series nonfiction, I'm anxious to see what other people chose to help build my list of more individual titles for next year!