The Common Core is putting a large emphasis on the nonfiction books, which is great. The Scholastic.com includes a whole list of “exemplary tests to illustrate the level of complexity and quality”
Now, we have always been teaching history with nonfiction, and right now “Flesh and Blood So Cheap” The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy” is one of the top new American History Common Core Books on the Kidsread.wordpress.com list.
It is the science non-fiction that is lacking an interesting and engaging text. What we need are books students can really get into. Books that are on their level and that are not going to bore them. Sorry, but if we want students to become engaged and learn about science we have to give them material that is not going to be rejected after the second page. For The Natural Resources/Animal and Biology books, “Oil”, “Sugar Changed the World”, and “Allies” are a good example.
Now, Ocean Science list along with “Tracking Trash”Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion” has an amazing “World Without Fish” illustrated chapter book. The use of comic book format at the end of each chapter to synthesize learning and ideas, along with creative use of font make this an ideal non-fiction text for grades 6-12. The author, Mark Kurlansky, has created what every 6-12 science teacher needs, content presented in a comprehensive yet engaging way, through stories and connections, which all students can relate to and understand. Writing a science book for students that is age appropriate but teaches a complex matter at the same time, is a form of art. Well done!
World Without Fish Lesson Plan
Lena M. Ed.
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