Adventures in Literacy Land: nonfiction

Showing posts with label nonfiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nonfiction. Show all posts



What is Wonderopolis, you ask?  

I asked the same thing when a friend of mine at work mentioned it.  Immediately after leaving the copy room, I Googled it, and I was amazed!  Actually, my entire mind was full of wonder!  I could not believe what I saw!

My friend, a Special Education teacher, uses it with his students to give them some engaging material to read.  He loves it because of the many features it has, and his students can find just about anything they want to read.  Yes, they have CHOICE!  That is huge!

So, I thought, what can I use this for?  Well, there are so many ways I can use this resource to help my students as they learn.

One of our standards in the third grade is for students to read what I call "Real Life Reading", which includes such things as brochures, flyers, schedules, recipes, and websites.  The third grade teacher and I spent an entire week working on "Real Life Reading".  I used Wonderopolis with my students as the website to read.  They used the iPads to look up different "wonders" and read about them.  Here are some things we loved about it!
Look at all of the great topics!  Yes, that is Minecraft as a topic!  What kid couldn't find something to want to read?!  And there are so many more!

For those students who can't read it all, they can listen with wonder!  Plus, they can listen to a fluent reader too!

You can click on any word that has an orange dotted line and see what it means.  Plus,there are "Wonder Words" for each "wonder" where students can learn and then do a matching activity.

Before reading, students use guiding questions to help them think about what they will be reading.  Plus, it connects to current standards.

Each passage has a short little quiz they can do to see what they remember.

After they looked at the website and read about something they wanted to learn more about, they answered these real life questions about the screen shot.

It is amazing what they can learn when they are able to "wonder" a little!

What will you do in Wonderopolis?


Fabulous and Fun Fiction and Non-Fiction Ideas for Spring

Hey everyone! It's Bex from Reading and Writing Redhead! Are you looking for some new ideas for literature for your primary classroom or homeschooling this spring? Need some new activities and resources for language arts! I have rounded up some for you right here in the post! 

First let's start with some book ideas and then if you keep reading I will share some resources at the end! 

Let's start with a collage of some great books to try!

Lets break down the books! Please comment below and let us know if you have used them, which is your favorite, and what resources you'd recommend - or if you have additional ideas for literature! Click on any title and it should take you to the resource at Teachers Pay Teachers, a blog, or  website with more info.

The Best Nest by  PD Eastman: This is an oldie but goodie as my mom would say. My friend's 6 year old loves it. While not strictly about spring, we know birds build nest and eggs hatch in spring, and the funny story of a pair of birds search for a better nest is adorable! 

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert: A colorful and fun realistic fiction story that children can learn from tells the simple tale of planting and waiting for seeds to grow into flowers.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle: Of course you all know this one - the tiny seed is the only seed to survive the elements and make it to grow into a tall beautiful flower.

In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb  by Marion Bauer:  Fun rhymes and a literal adventure of a lion and lamb during the month of March. Why didn't someone think of this before? 

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson: The adorable Bear wakes up from spring thin and hungry. The Pictures are fun, colorful and full of energy!

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky: Gorwing up just a few miles from Boston, where this book is set means  a lot to me! If you have not read it, get going! The mallards search for a safe place in Boston to build their nest and raise their young. Will it be the Public Gardens, somewhere on the Charles River, the Back Bay, near the Capitol building?

Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer  by Susan Hood: A fun, colorful pop up book for very young children that teaches about metamorphosis.

The Thing about Spring by Daniel Kirk: Rabbit loves winter and is sad to see it go but is learning why spring is wonderful too from his animal friends.  

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney:  A beautiful story about a woman who made  a difference by spreading lupine seeds - a colorful sign of spring.

Weather in Spring by Martha Rustad: Recommended by a first grade teacher! Get your non-fiction weather facts about spring here.

The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown: Do you know this classic? A little bunny finds an egg and waits to see what is inside!

The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller: 48 pages of kid friendly but scientifically accurate information about bugs, plants and animals!

Cherry Blossoms Say Spring: This National Geographic book looks at both the life cycle of a cherry tree and also at the history of how the trees came to Washington, DC. A neat way to combine science and history!

Its Spring by Susan Swan: Unique cut paper pictures with hand drawn illustrations make this a fun scavenger hunt of sorts!

Spring by Tanya Thayer : Recommended for pre-K age students- it is a nice introduction to how and why the seasons change.

Animals in Spring by Martha Rustad: A companion to Weather in Spring it would go well with your science program if you are learning about animals or weather! 

Let it Rain by Maryann Cocca Leffler: Another good choice for Pre-K students and maybe kindergarteners, this is a rhyming book with playful pictures and tells of many fun spring activities.  

Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel: Of course not just about spring, but this book has a super cute story about spring being "just around the corner".

So now you have some spring literature ideas- I rounded up some FREE resources from some of your favorite teacher bloggers!

Frog and Toad Long and Short Vowel Sort by Differentiation Station Creations: Would be great to accompany Frog and Toad and if you are working on vowels. 

St Patricks Day Literacy and Math Printables by Mrs W- Great if you are trying to get in some literacy activities for the first spring holiday! Includes work on syllables, word families, and a writing prompt

Life Cycle of a Ladybug by Michelle Griffo: Pretty self-explanatory but might be a nice follow-up to reading about spring insects and animals or learning about the life cycle of a caterpillar or even plant life cycles!

Do the Bunny Hop- a cvc Word Game  by Mrs Roltgen: Get your CVC practice in with a fun bunny theme.

Spring Sentence Scramble Puzzle Freebie by Teaching with love and Laughter: Great for grades K and 1!

The Tiny Seed Song  by Libby Loves Learning: a fun, free song you can sing after reading the story.

Tiny Seed Word Wall by Miss Glitter McGlitterstein

Tiny Seed Literacy Unit by Kinderplans

Here is a paid resource from Cathy Collier - The Wise Owl - but you can download the free preview and see if the full product would work for you: Combined Spring CVC Card Sort


5 Great Books for Women's History Month

Hello, Royal Readers!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars here today with some books to help you start planning for next month ~ Women's History Month!

Last month, Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads highlighted some great books for Black History Month, so I thought it would be fitting to highlight some fun books for Women's History Month, which is in March.

I love biographies, and these Time for Kids biographies are perfect for many young readers.  They pictures are great and really show a lot about the person.  How can you go wrong?
This book A is for Abigail has a great deal of information about various women in history.  Students will love the short blurbs of information that will help them want to learn more about some amazing women in history!
This book about Amelia Earhart is perfect for introducing young readers to a heroic woman in history.  I love that they even have one about Lucille Ball as well!  I love Lucy!
For older readers, the Who Is/Was books are perfect for them.  This one about Jane Goodall helps transitional readers understand her life.  There are plenty others in this series as well.
I have never read this one, but it looks very intriguing! Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women highlights the accomplishments of many women inventors.  What a great way to get young girls to think scientifically!
I hope this short list has gotten you excited about Women's History Month.  It sure has gotten me excited!  I would love some other great book recommendations.  What are some other books you like to use for Women's History Month?


Non-Fiction All About Books

Hi everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers!  I thought I would share with you today a little about what my class is working on during Writing Workshop!

This is my favorite time of year for writing with my first graders because we get into writing non-fiction (All About Books and How To Books).  The kids go CRAZY over writing non-fiction!  They honestly can't get enough!  

Before Christmas, we wrote an All About Reindeer book together as a class.  We did research together and learned about how to add different features to our books including a Table of Contents, Diagram, Glossary, and About the Author page.

Now, they are working at their own pace, writing All About Books.  They first started with topics that they knew a lot about without having to do research.  

I knew I wanted them to be able to write about a topic by doing some research too.  This is how it ended up working out best…

We have "computer" as one of our "specials" during the week.  We have a computer lab teacher that is working to teach them the basics with computers.  This is the first year we have had this and I think it is WONDERFUL!  When the kids went there this past week, they each got to do a little research of their own.

First, we decided to use the website Wild Kratts from PBS Kids.  The kids all went to this website- 

From here they could search for an animal that they wanted to learn more about.  I gave each student a recording sheet to write down different things that they have learned about their animal. Click on the picture if you would like a copy...

Once the student finds an animal, they can click different buttons that tell about the animal.  What I like about this website is that they can listen to facts as well as read them.

My students recorded the different things that they have learned and now they can write an All About Book about an animal that they just learned about!

I would love to hear about how you do Non-Fiction (informational writing) in classroom!


Research- How Kids can Research by Reading Level

Hi Literacy Land Friends!  Before Christmas Break, we were doing some research to help us write our All About Books.  I have a tip to share with you today.  While doing our research, we talked about where we can find information and of course the internet is a great way to go.  However, the material that the students have to read is just way too difficult for my first graders.  I am here to show you a way to help with that problem.  Is it full proof?  No- but it is a start.

Here some easy steps to follow.

Step 1:  Go to

Step 2:  Type in the topic that you want to search.

Step 3:  Click on Search Tools and then tab that says All Results and go to Reading Level.

Step 4:  Click on the reading level that you want.  For my first graders, I would click on Basic.

Step 5:  The posts that will come up at the top will be the easiest to read and most kid-friendly. 

I searched Bats and I got websites such as:
Bats for Kids
National Geographic
Animal Discovery
It at least makes research a little easier:)