Nonfiction Programming: Spark Kids' Imaginations with the Wonders of Amazing Facts
Johnson, Abby, American Libraries
Almost every state in the Union has adopted the Common Core State Standards, which emphasize that students read literary nonfiction. A great way to stimulate students curiosity and encourage youngsters to pick up informational books is to include nonfiction in your library programs. With a wealth of new narrative nonfiction being published each year, a treasure trove of titles on your shelves is just waiting for you to incorporate.
Ages 0-5. Adding nonfiction to your preschool storytimes opens children's eyes to the world around them. Many titles will fit into themes you're already using. Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt, 2001) is perfect for storytimes about spring, insects, or gardening. As part of your fall storytime, share the photos in Pumpkins by Ken Robbins (Roaring Brook, 2006) to show how pumpkins grow. Add Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart (Peachtree Press, 2009) to a winter storytime about how animals cope when the weather turns cold.
Other authors of great nonfiction books for preschoolers include April Pulley Sayre, Bob Barner, and Gail Gibbons. The books in the Pebble Plus series from Capstone have large color pictures and simple text, so they're great for sharing with preschoolers. Don't be afraid to paraphrase if the book you want to share is too wordy for this age group. If a book contains too much text to read aloud, talk about the pictures and share some simple facts. Using a book without reading it word for word shows parents, teachers, and caregivers how they can do the same, thus opening up possibilities in the library stacks.
Ages 5-10. There is plenty of nonfiction children's literature that makes great read-aloud books for the elementary school set. Nonfiction often appeals to kids who might not think they're interested in storytime. See how quickly they change their minds when you break out How Big Is TO A Big Book AU about BIGness by Ben Hillman (Scholastic, 2007). Be sure to choose books with interesting pictures and/or cool facts to share and, again, don't be afraid to paraphrase. …