It’s time for the wonderful Non-Fiction Picture Book Sharing, otherwise known as #nf10for10, started and hosted by Mandy Robek, Enjoy and Embrace Learning, and Cathy Mere, Reflect and Refine: Building A Learning Community. Get ready to add many wonderful books to your TBR lists!
This year, share at the new Google Community Cathy and Mandy have created HERE!
Students in my school each study their own chosen topics and the curriculum is built around them. One challenge is to help broaden their outlook of what makes a good way to communicate what they discover. I teach a mixed group of 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
Here are Books I’ll Use With Middle School to help them present research in new ways:
What Do You Do With An Idea? - written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom
I’ve shared this many times, and believe it’s inspiring to all who have that one idea that’s been boiling around and they’re unsure about their ability to make it work. This is what I want my students to know, that they should go for it!
No Monkeys, No Chocolate – written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young and illustrated by Nicole Wong
Clear and interesting information, tells the story backwards, from the cocoa bean and all the other interrelated pieces that must happen in order to have chocolate. Another way to say it is that connection happen in all sorts of places. Also, there’s a little worm on each page following along with funny asides.
The Iridescence of Birds - written by Patrician Mac Lachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Reflecting upon one’s background is an interesting thing to do, and my students have loved this book. I’ll use it to show how our past can affirm our present.
An Island Scrapbook-Dawn to Dusk on a barrier island - written and illustrated by Virginia Wright-Frierson
We do many kinds of trips, both day and overnight at my school. And each student keeps a journal to capture their field work. This will be a great mentor text to show ways of capturing what one observes in both sketches and words.
Feathers: Not Just For Flying – written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen
This is a great text that not only shows one can research for the different uses of something in nature, but also creating a scrapbook with pictures, sketches, original and created text.
Archie’s War – written and illustrated by Marcia Williams
This is a more traditional scrapbook with a narrative story that includes many pieces of historical ephemera. I know that students will love the ideas that Marcia Williams has included.
Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold - Poem by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
A beautiful way, when appropriate, to communicate research about something, concrete or abstract, is to write poetry about it, and Joyce Sidman does it well. The illustrations are good companions to the text.
Mogie, The Heart of The House – written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
This is a beautiful and interesting story about a dog who won the hearts of all in a Ronald McDonald house. It’s a lovely example of writing a feature story, do the research first, including interviews, taking pictures, and illustrating too.
Ape - written by Martin Jenkins and illustrated by Vicky White
I love this book, the science of it and that it has a surprise at the end. I know that some students can use the idea when they are doing early research about a topic, and just need to organize and share a group of things.
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope – William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Sometimes students discover a special person that connects to their unit topics. This biography is written in an interesting way that shows the background of Kamkwamba along with the innovations in science that he used to capture electricity. Writing about the “complexity” of a life is a goal, and this book will be good for that example.
So, that's ten! There are numerous others that will work for these goals, and I use them too, but these are recent favorites, and I wanted to share them. If you have a favorite, please tell me in the comments! Thanks for working out the new problems this year, Cathy and Mandy, and for hosting us. I always look forward to these two days!