Monday, December 18, 2017

5 Faves: Expository Nonfiction Recommended by JoEllen McCarthy

Imagine if students were all given the opportunity to pursue their passions? Passion empowers learners. In our most exciting reading and writing workshops, students are invigorated by books that help them extend the opportunity to read, to write, to build, to create, to question... to address a real need in their world. As Melissa Stewart has reminded us, “they’re most likely to develop a love of reading if they have access to fact-filled books with clear main ideas and supporting details. They’re captivated by books that include patterns, analogies, concepts, and calculations.”

On that note, I’d like to share a few favorites that demonstrate passion from authors and are sure to inspire passion in readers and writers of expository texts.

Every Body’s Talking: What We Say Without Words by Donna M. Jackson and Carol Kinsey Goman, PhD (Twenty-first Century Books, 2014)
This fascinating book explores ways we communicate beyond words. The authors take a close look at how our feelings, actions, and body language send messages. It is a great exploration of the importance of reading others’ social cues and why it is necessary to read and reflect on other’s emotions. Filled with sources, interactive links, and a body-talk glossary, it’s an informational book that supports empathy, caring, and communicating with others, and that’s a win-win!
 
Hello Atlas: Listen to 133 Different Languages by Ben Handicott, illus. Kenard Pak (Wide Eyed Editions, 2016)
This book is really more like an adventure. Want to take a trip around the world? Want to learn about other communities? Want to “hear” from children around the world? (Yes, this book comes with an app to download and hear phrases spoken by real children.) Rich with illustrated word charts, maps, and more, this book is a celebration of language as well as our unique and wonderful world.
 
Hmmm… ever wonder why the pro experience is so different for a man than a woman? This book is for you. Sports fans of all genders will have a chance to explore and reflect on  opportunity, progress, and women in sports! This takes a realistic and optimistic look at a world where women hopefully one day be equal to men.  

Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World by Michelle Mulder (Orca, 2016)
This book is part of a series that shows kids making a difference in the world.  This book focuses on community rather than consumption. It is rich with voice and serves as wonder-full mentor text for craft, for literacy, and for life lessons.
 
This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids fromAround the World
by Matt Lamothe (Chronicle, 2017)
This simple pattern book compares and contrasts moments in the lives of children from around the world. It helps readers take a look and a walk in the shoes of others while learning about traditions, family, and experiences of others. Great book to add to our discussions to find the similarities and differences that connect us all.
 
Passionate readers and writers of expository texts are on a journey to answer a question, to learn more, to be more. They are on a clear path to understand their subject matter with depth and breadth. Passion, purpose, process…  Warning: will cause learning and book love.

JoEllen McCarthy, a dedicated educator for 20+ years, is a self-proclaimed literacy geek who spreads a love and enthusiasm for learning and the role literature plays in all aspects of education. Her considerable knowledge of effective literacy practices and child development coupled with her passion and expertise for children’s literature makes her a significant resource in the school districts with which she works. @JoEllenMcCarthy

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