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

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Stenhouse Publishers, 1998 - Education - 236 pages
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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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Contents

From Passion to Presentation
1
Part One Conditions for Successful Inquiry
9
Honoring Passion
11
Questions that Compel
23
Let the Writer Choose
32
Authentic Resources
42
Showing Kids How
51
Part Two The NittyGritty
65
Theres No One Way
124
Part Three Putting It All Together
145
Getting It Down on Paper
147
The Wide Range of Possibilities
167
Managing Nonfiction Inquiry Projects
190
Presentations and Assessment
201
Appendixes
209
Bibliographies
219

Learning and Understanding
67
Observation and Secondary Research
88
Going Directly to the Source
105

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