Thursday, June 7, 2012

Content Area Reading

I think an extremely important part of students' reading instruction comes through content area reading.  As students reach third grade, they make the transition of learning to read to reading to learn, and there is a large emphasis on nonfiction reading in the common core standards.  I've seen several of my own students excel during my language arts block but have trouble when it came to content area reading.  I've improved my own nonfiction reading instruction by teaching my students how to read nonfiction texts (see past blog post here).  I've also tried to build a substantial content area library for my students to give them greater access to nonfiction texts that relate to our social studies and science standards.  I frequently use these books as part of my social studies and science lessons, and my students often use the books for research projects, group activities, and independent reading.

This is my content area bookshelf, and my baskets are organized by unit (math, earth science, physical science, life science, American heroes, Ancient Greece, and social studies).

It's funny to me that at the beginning of the year, my students act as if they have no interest in these books, but by the end of the year they're always my students' favorites.
Here is a very small list of some of my favorites:

  • Times Tables the Fun Way
  • Grandfather Tang's Journey
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs for all
  • How Big is a Foot?
  • Full House
Social Studies
  • Any Magic Tree House
  • The Mythology Handbook (my students' number 1 favorite EVERY year)
  • Any Eyewitness Book
  • We the People
  • Any Time for Kids
  • Rookie Biographies are great for struggling readers
  •  Eye Wonder Books
  • National Geographic Books
  • Basher Science Books
  • Magic School Bus Books
  • Anything by Seymour Simon


Amanda said...

I like that you grouped your science into life science and earth sciences. I have mine grouped into a lot more specific subjects, but I think it might be more beneficial this year to take out books that are too hard, and then grouping the ones who make the cut into life, physical, and earth science. Thanks for the idea! I love the colored baskets.

luckeyfrog said...

I love this! I am such a huge lover of science, and I'm actually taking a workshop this week about integrating social studies into our literacy block. It just makes sense- and honestly, with Common Core coming out, there's going to NEED to be a much bigger focus on informational non-fiction text.

We have some of the same basket groups! :)

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Miss Brynley said...

I like the idea of keeping them out all year. I typically rotate mine, hoping to add to the excitement. Maybe I'll try keeping them this way this year.

Brynley's Brainstorms

Lori said...

Great idea! I have mentor books I use, but I need to beef up books for kid access. I love any book by Loreen Leedy, and there is a great group of books that I read to provide historical background knowledge about the 9 Americans we have to study in 3rd. The series is called Tales of Young Americans that I buy off of Amazon. For math, I love the Tiger Math, Polar Bear Math, etc. from Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel.

V. K. Sinha said...

Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.
life sciences

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