Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8

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Stenhouse Publishers, Jan 1, 1998 - Education - 236 pages
9 Reviews

When we open the gates to nonfiction inquiry, we open our thinking and expect the unexpected, making reading discoveries, research discoveries, and writing discoveries on our way. Nonfiction Matters offers teachers the tools to help students explore nonfiction and dig deep to reach more complete understanding of the real world and report these insights in a compelling manner.

Stephanie Harvey shows how students can read expository text, engage in research, and write authentic nonfiction that is captivating, visual, and full of voice. The inquiry projects she describes require in-depth learning: topic selection, question development, research exploration, reading for content, organization, synthesis, writing to convey meaning, and presenting findings—all skills that develop independent thinkers who know how to make decisions, solve problems, and apply their knowledge insightfully.

Full of practical suggestions to help you bring nonfiction into your curriculum, Nonfiction Matters:

  • presents strategies for understanding expository text and conducting meaningful research;
  • offers ideas for organizing and writing accurate, effective nonfiction from idea to finished presentation;
  • advances the importance of teacher modeling and guided practice in instructional delivery;
  • provides a list of inquiry tools and resources—both print and electronic;
  • suggests ways to facilitate project-based learning and assess the projects as they develop;
  • includes bibliographies of nonfiction children's books by subject and genre and lists of recommended magazines.

Why is nonfiction almost a guaranteed success? The key to teaching with nonfiction is passion, for children are passionate inquirers, and nonfiction fuels their curiosity and their demand for knowledge and understanding of the world.


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Review: Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8

User Review  - Ann Haefele - Goodreads

Good ideas regarding reading and writing nonfiction in the classroom, with many lessons that can carry over to library instruction. But because it is 1998 copyright, the resources suggested for use ... Read full review

Review: Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8

User Review  - Jestine Myers - Goodreads

I found this book on my own and decided it might be a good book to study with the current focus on nonfiction reading in schools. I really enjoyed reading through and making notes about it. This book ... Read full review

All 6 reviews »


From Passion to Presentation
Part One Conditions for Successful Inquiry
Honoring Passion
Questions that Compel
Let the Writer Choose
Authentic Resources
Showing Kids How
Part Two The NittyGritty
Theres No One Way
Part Three Putting It All Together
Getting It Down on Paper
The Wide Range of Possibilities
Managing Nonfiction Inquiry Projects
Presentations and Assessment

Learning and Understanding
Observation and Secondary Research
Going Directly to the Source

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About the author (1998)

Stephanie Harvey has spent her career teaching and learning about reading and writing. An elementary and special ed teacher for fifteen years, she now works as a staff developer and educational consultant. Insatiably curious about student thinking, she is a teacher first and foremost and continues to work in schools on a regular basis savoring any time spent with kids. The coauthor of the Heinemann titles Comprehension Going Forward and Comprehension & Collaboration as well as the author of Nonfiction Matters and Strategies That Work, the latter coauthored by Anne Goudvis, Stephanie works with educators, schools and districts to implement progressive literacy practices. She has created a number of video series that showcase thoughtful literacy practice. Her most classroom materials with firstHand include The Comprehension Toolkit, the Primary Comprehension Toolkit, and Comprehension Interventions. Created along with Anne Goudvis, they form an intensive resource for comprehension instruction and active literacy across the day and throughout the year. Listen to an interview with Stephanie Harvey on Education Talk Radio - 2/29/2012 (30:35)

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