Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Research Motivation

        Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From Alyson and others, you will discover terrific nonfiction picture books!

     I've been on a wonderful trip to view the eclipse, hence no post last week, but I've scrambled since in order to finish and share this longer non-fiction, fabulous book. Some of you have shared it, and that's how I discovered it! Thank you!

      I often share that I wish I was back in the classroom, and while reading this book, I felt the same. The book contains three parts, about plants, animals, and humans. Within those parts are three chapters. And yes, more threes; each chapter shares three stories, one of which is not true, but may contain some real facts.  At the back, there is a research guide for each chapter which encourages kids to discover their own “truths” through research. There is also an answer guide, a bibliography and photo credits and an index.  The photos do help, but even they may be fake! In this era of fake news and fake conspiracy theories, using the book to help students learn to do research to prove a story is a goal in every classroom. 
      Along the way, the authors have added in different parts of information with a question. For example, in the plant section, there is a highlighted box that includes ten plant names, one of which is “not true.” There are fascinating names like Sneezewort, Dinosaur Food, Butter-and-eggs and Monkey Puzzle Tree. Our Denver Botanic Gardens has a list of plants in their arboretum with interesting names. I’ve taken students there to find those plants and try to discover why they have been given those common names. It’s a great learning and engrossing activity.
       Sometimes a cartoon monkey in a lab coat is on a page with interesting responses to the content and sometimes there are small glossary boxes. The pages are colorfully enticing, just like the content. Here’s a pic of one page.
Click to enlarge!
I imagine reading parts at a time, and beginning the inquiry, perhaps in small groups who later will present their findings. Even without a classroom, I enjoyed this book thoroughly.



  1. Oooohhh, I love this book! I feel like there is so much to do with this book. I'm thrilled to see the series is going to continue.

    1. Oh, I didn't know about it continuing. That is wonderful. It is a terrific book. Thanks, Michelle!

  2. What a brilliant use of the game Two Truths and a Lie!

    1. Thanks, Annette. This would be terrific to use in the classroom.


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