Exploring Nonfiction with Young Learners

By (author) Darla Miner, Jill Zitnay

Publication date:

16 February 2012

Length of book:

150 pages

Publisher

R&L Education

ISBN-13: 9781610484930

Exploring Nonfiction with Young Learners explores the four basic nonfiction structures that the youngest learners are most likely to encounter: descriptive, recount/collection, procedural, and explanatory texts. This book also includes information to help teach four, more complex structures that younger readers sometimes encounter during read-alouds: comparison, response, causation/cause and effect, and persuasive genres.

This book is organized to help plan lessons using each type of nonfiction structure. Strategies and suggestions for activities to use before, during and after reading are included. Templates and graphic organizers are also provided in order to facilitate planning, and offer additional resources. Detailed information about each text structure as well as mentor texts to illustrate each type is included. Text structures, as well as text access features, are defined and located in easy reference charts. Whole class and small group planning ideas are included throughout the book in order to allow for differentiation. Additionally, assessment ideas, sample think-alouds, lesson planning templates, and sample lessons with completed graphic organizers are included for each text structure.

Students are most likely to read expository texts for learning and work, but students do not receive enough instruction on how to comprehend that type of writing. This book proposes beginning instruction in nonfiction reading and comprehension in the primary grades so that when students reach the fourth grade and are reading primarily nonfiction material, they will have the skills to comprehend and interpret what they are reading. Following the suggestions outlined in this book, readers are guided through "before," "during," and "after" reading strategies and can select age-appropriate activities based on sound learning principles. Miner and Zitnay also explain teaching nonfiction though text structures, a key component in comprehending and evaluating reading material. The book ends with an appendix of graphic organizers and templates. It would be an excellent read for a study group of primary teachers interested in ensuring quality nonfiction reading instruction. Summing Up: Recommended.