In recent years, narrative nonfiction has been basking in the limelight. It receives more starred reviews, garners more awards, and ends up on more classroom and library bookshelves than expository nonfiction because gatekeepers—the adults who make up the children’s literature community—tend to have a natural love of stories and storytelling. That’s why they chose jobs as librarians, literacy coaches, reading specialists, editors, book reviewers, etc. rather than accountants or engineers.
To prove my point, here are the results of a survey I conducted at a summer conference for educators.
These results are supported by an analysis of American Library Association’s Youth Media Award winners since 2001 (when the Sibert Award for Informational Books was first given).
But a growing body of research shows that many children think differently. They prefer reading books with an expository writing style.
But that’s not all we can glean from the research. It turns out that expository nonfiction also builds content knowledge, leads to success in school, and prepares students for those dreaded standardized tests.
To explore these topics in greater detail, I’ve teamed up with Marlene Correia, director of curriculum and assessment for the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District of Lakeville, MA and past-president of the Massachusetts Reading Association. Over the last few months, we’ve created two handy dandy infographics.
The first one (shown above) highlights 5 Reasons to Share Expository Nonfiction with Students. The first reason—Some Students Prefer It! —is what I blogged about in depth last fall and is summarized with the visuals above.
Over the next few weeks, Marlene and I will be discussing the other four points—one per week—in greater detail on Wednesdays.
On Fridays, we’ll share ideas related to our second infographic 5 Ways to Share Expository Nonfiction with Students. Here’s a sneak peek.
We hope you’ll come back on Friday to find out more.