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Use Non-Fiction to Do Research Projects with the Primary Grades?. YES WE CAN!. If You Build It, They Will Come. TONY STEAD IS MY GURU!.

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Presentation Transcript
tony stead is my guru
  • Tony Stead helps teachers and educators develop literacy instruction with a specific focus on reading and writing nonfiction. His publications include Is That a Fact?: Teaching Nonfiction Writing K–3, Reality Checks:Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction K–5, and the video series Time for Nonfiction, which highlights his work with several teachers at the Manhattan New School.
is that a fact
Is That a Fact?
  • Nonfiction inspires enthusiasm in young children because they can choose topics that are of interest to them personally. Is That a Fact? explores a variety of authentic purposes for writing nonfiction, such as describing, explaining, instructing, persuading, retelling, and exploring relationships with others. You will learn how to introduce each purpose using a variety of forms, including letters, reports, poetry, captions, directions, and interviews.
  • Part One provides a complete overview of teaching nonfiction writing in the primary grades and includes:
  • practical ways for organizing nonfiction resources within the classroom;
  • how to assist children in collecting information for research;
  • ideas for helping children keep their sense of voice when writing nonfiction;
  • a chapter on spelling, with examples of how to guide students at each stage of spelling development;
  • strategies for assessment and evaluation that guide teaching and learning engagements.
reality checks
Reality Checks
  • Nonfiction can be overwhelming to young readers, presenting them with complex vocabulary and a new density of information that may combine text, diagrams, pictures, captions, and other devices. Reality Checks offers insights into why children struggle when faced with informational reading, and practical concepts, skills, and strategies that help them navigate nonfiction successfully.
steps in writing non fiction
  • Choose a topic. What interests you?
  • Write what you know or think you know.
  • Research your topic.
  • Add new information.
  • Reread – make all corrections and make sure all information is true.
  • Sort information into chapters.
7. Publish:
  • write neatly
  • illustrate using diagrams and labels
  • table of contents
  • page numbers
  • glossary and index

(SDR Handout: Is That a Fact? Instant Success With Nonfiction Writing presented by Tony Stead)

finding your voice with non fiction writing
Finding Your Voice with Non-Fiction Writing

Writing Through a Mask

“Primary kids love to pretend, dress up, play make-believe. This craft lesson challenges them to use their imagination and actually become the thing they are writing about.”

Children create a physical mask of the object they are researching and wear that mask while they are presenting their research.

writing an alphabet information book
Writing an Alphabet Information Book

Class books are often the best way to introduce research projects to primary students. Everyone in the class contributes to the final product.

“An alphabet book is a great model for information writing – both for gathering and for presenting information.”

doe summer conference

This conference was a three-day think tank experience of library teachers from the state of Virginia who were interested in increasing the use of higher-order thinking skills in their instruction.

This was my group’s result.

k 2 science

K-2 Science

Animals in the Library

  • Science SOL 1.5: The student will investigate and understand that animals, including people, have life needs and specific characteristics and can be classified according to certain characteristics.
  • National Information Literacy Standard 2: The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.
essential questions
Essential Questions
  • How will you find the needed information using non-fiction books?
  • What are the characteristics of your animal?
  • What is the habitat where your animal lives?
  • Review the parts of non-fiction books (assuming prior lesson on this topic), focus on table of contents and glossary.
  • Students will find three facts about their chosen animal and draw a picture of it on reverse side (postcard style).
  • Students will analyze the characteristics of their animals to sort into appropriate categories.
name of animal
Name of Animal: ______________

Circle the correct answer below.

  • How many legs does your animal have?
    • 2 4 6 8
  • What kind of skin covering does it have?
    • fur feathers scales
  • Where does your animal live?
    • jungle desert forest water
your name
Your Name __________________
  • Draw a picture of your animal
  • Use hula hoops to make large circles on the floor.
  • First label hula hoops with the numbers of legs: 2, 4, 6, and 8. Have kids sort their animal postcards into the correct circle.
  • Then label hula hoops with type of skin covering, sort again. Do the same with habitats.
  • If time and ability permit, put a few animals in circles and let kids figure out the sort criteria and sort their postcards into the correct circle.
  • Sort activity could also be done using Kidspiration or a Smartboard.
  • Capstone and Pebble Books are excellent resources for this activity.
created in building critical thinkers doe class
Created in Building Critical Thinkers DOE Class
  • Judy Noble Yorkshire Elem. School
  • Kim Oelkers Vaughan Elem. School
  • Eleanor Fall Loudoun Country Day
  • Kathryn Mayberry Middletown Elem.
  • Jonelle Till Frederick Douglass Elem.

August 10, 2006

pairing fiction with non fiction
Pairing Fiction with Non-Fiction

Snakes in a Kindergarten Class

I used the book The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble. On a whim, I brought with me some new primary non-fiction books I had just received. What happened in this classroom was magical.

Kindergartners did their own research project as a class!

works cited
  • Bamford, Rosemary A. and Janice V. Kristo. Checking Out Nonfiction K-8: Good Choices for Best Learning, 2000.
  • Duke, ED.D., Nell K. and V. Susan Bennett-Armistead. Reading & Writing Informational Text in the Primary Grades: Research-Based Practices, 2003.
  • Keeling, Joyce. Lesson Plans for the Busy Librarian: a Standards-Based Approach for the Elementary Library Media Center, 2002.
works cited23
  • Kristo, Janice V. and Rosemary A. Bamford. Nonfiction in Focus: a Comprehensive Framework for Helping Students Become Independent Readers and Writers of Nonfiction, K-6, 2004.
  • Loertscher, David V., Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwaan. Ban Those Bird Units: 15 Models for Teaching and Learning in Information-rich and Technology-rich Environments, 2005.
  • Mahoney, Jodi Weisbart. Introducing Nonfiction Writing in the Early Grades, 2002.
works cited24
  • Miller, Pat. Stretchy Library Lessons: Research Skills, 2003.
  • Polette, Nancy. Reading and Writing Non Fiction in the Primary Grades, 2001.
  • Portalupi, Joann and Ralph Fletcher. Nonfiction Craft Lessons: Teaching Information Writing K-8, 2001.
works cited25
  • Stead, Tony. Is That a Fact?: Teaching Nonfiction Writing K-3, 2001.
  • Stead, Tony. Reality Checks: Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction K-5, 2005.
  • Wanamaker, Karen A. Instant Library Lessons: First Grade, 2005.