Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Share a Story - Shape a Future: Day #3

Logo created by: Elizabeth Dulemba

Share a Story - Shape A Future - Day 3 (Just the Facts, The Non-Fiction Book Hook)
Share a Story - Shape a Future is an online event that is trying to harness the internet to share ideas on how to encourage children to read.  Many of the ideas shared may help engage your children in their reading.  I encourage you to check out Share a Story - Shape a Future.

* Do you have an image (photo, chart, illustration) from a nonfiction book that has stayed with you, even though you don't remember many of the details about what you read?

There is a photo from, Lincoln: A Photobiography, that has stayed with me since I read portions of the nonfiction book with my fourth grade students over 7 years ago.  Actually, the image I am thinking of is a series of photographed portraits of the president from 1861-1864.  The photographs show the how the stress of the Civil War took its toll on Lincoln's face.  As a class we discussed the photographs and I asked for the students to give descriptions of what they observed.  Then, I gave the students a writing prompt: How would you feel as a President during a time of war?

Russell Freedman has many great non-fiction books. Other books that I explored with my class were Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor and Immigrant Kids.  The students really enjoyed exploring Kids at Work because it led to some great discussions on their feelings of going to work instead of school.  There are so many great images in these books.  They perfectly fit the theme of this question because I certainly do not remember all the facts about Lincoln's Presidency and child labor laws.  But, I do remember how captivating the photographs were that Russell Freedman shared in his nonfiction books.

* What kind of reading material has inspired your dormant reader to become an avid reader and book seeker?

I believe my daughter's launch pad to reading came from the emergent reader books by Susan Canizares.  These books tend to be less than 20 pages long.  Each page has a large photograph and one sentence of text.  Initially, we read them over and over together.  She eventually memorized the words of many of the books.  After the memorization, I would leave out words as I read and she would fill in the blanks.  Then, it wasn't long until she would sit with a stack of the books and read them independently.  It was such a joy for me to watch.  

I would recommend these books to anyone.  They are small in size, so kids can easily manipulate the books anywhere, like the car, at a restaurant, or even the potty (one of my daughter's favorite places to read.)  There are a variety of topics in the areas of science and social studies.  Many of the books include repeated text as well.  I know of many schools that use the books for guided reading.

* Where is your favorite place to read? Do you share your secret spot with your child? 

I have already mentioned my daughter's favorite spot to read and I can say I do not share that spot with her.  However, I do have another location that is a special place for us to read.  On our house we have a very small 3 season room.  The room is actually really poorly designed and we have never had much success with configuring furniture. Last year, we acquired a couch from a friend of mine and it ended up being too big for our living room. So, the only other place it fit was in our "sun room".  This couch has become my son's favorite place to have me read to him - when it is warm outside of course.  We pile the books high and just enjoy the sunshine.

Visit my other posts from the week:  Day 1Day 2Day 3 , Day 4 
Note:  This article was written as participating post in the Share a Story 2010 online blogging event.

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