Monday, January 25, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-winning Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing is bursting with ideas and insights from many of today’s leading nonfiction authors. Ideally, educators will have a chance to read all the essays. But because time is such a precious commodity, teachers should also feel free to dip in and out of the essays in a way that meets their interests and needs.
To make this process easier, each chapter features a Teacher Timesaver Table that includes helpful information about the essays and the books each author writes.
By consulting this table, educators can quickly discover the grade level(s) that each author writes for, the format of their books—picture book (PB) or long form (LF)—and the content area the books address. The table also includes a brief summary of each essay. This table will help teachers identify the best two or three essays to accompany a particular lesson.
The authors’ ideas and experiences described in each essay can enrich reading and writing instruction in a variety of ways.
1. While students often think about the people behind the fiction books they read, they generally don’t think about nonfiction writers in the same way. The essays in this anthology will give young readers a chance to hear the authors’ voices and understand their motivation for writing particular books.
2. During an author study, the essays can help students feel more connected to the writer.
3. When using children’s books featured in the anthology as mentor texts in writing workshop, the essays can bring a new dimension to lessons that focus on nonfiction craft moves and revision. By revealing how professional writers think, the essays can help demystify the writing process for students.
There are so many options for using this one-of-a-kind resource!
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Next Monday is a big day in children’s literature. The winners of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards will be announced. So today seems like a good time to look back at some of the highly-regarded titles published last year.
There’s no doubt about it. 2020 was a phenomenal year for nonfiction, and it seems like
more people were paying attention than ever before.
Here’s a roundup of the lists I’m aware of. Please let me know if there are others I should add.
Mock Sibert Lists
Sibert Smackdown! (picture books)
Showdown! (MG science titles)
AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize Finalists
Booklist Editor’s Choice Books for Youth
(Would you believe nonfiction is first on this list? Hooray!)
Horn Book Fanfare 2020
(Scroll to bottom for nonfiction.)
Now it’s time to look ahead to 2021. So far, it seems like we’re going to have another great year of nonfiction. Time to start reading!
Friday, January 15, 2021
Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep: 50 Award-winning Authors Share the Secret of Engaging Writing has been out in the world for just about two month now, and I’m so excited by the reception it’s receiving from educators. Here’s what some of them are saying:
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite features, activities, and teaching strategies from the anthology. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
NF Fest is a month-long crash course in writing nonfiction for children. Throughout February, you’ll learn the craft of nonfiction writing from 28 award-winning authors through daily posts and activities to get you writing and researching in small steps. It's all FREE, and there will even be prizes!
Join the NF Fest Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NFFest/ for updates and discussion.
Monday, January 11, 2021
Some of these resources focus on books I’ve written and describe various stages of my creative process in detail, while others provide more general information and highlight books written by a wide variety of nonfiction authors.
On Mondays this year, I’m sharing some of these resources and providing ideas for how they might be used in the classroom. Today, I’m going to focus on the article Choosing a Topic for a Nonfiction Report or Project, which you can access by clicking on the Nonfiction Writing Resources icon.
Friday, January 8, 2021
You may wonder why fifty of today’s leading children’s nonfiction authors have come together to write a book for educators. After all, our target audience is usually young readers.
It’s because we want to set the record straight. We want to shine a light on a critical part of the nonfiction writing process that often goes unseen and unappreciated.
Again and again, we encounter teachers and students who seem to think that writing nonfiction is simple and straightforward. Just do some research and then cobble together a bunch of facts. But nothing could be further from the truth.
features essays by fifty authors, each with
their own story, but all with the same message: To craft high-quality prose,
nonfiction writers have to dig deep.
We have to be personally invested.
We have to get in touch with our passions and our vulnerabilities and use them to fuel our work.
The topics we choose, the approaches we take, and the concepts and themes we explore are closely linked to who we are as people—our personalities, our beliefs, and our experiences in the world. As far as we’re concerned, putting the information we collect through our own personal filters and making our own meaning is the secret to creating engaging nonfiction.
We created K-12 writing teachers realize what they’re currently leaving out of their instruction, they will be eager to make changes.
The tips, tools, strategies,
and activities included in can provide guidance as educators
search for ways to help students become more personally invested in their
nonfiction writing. Our fondest hope is that, from an early age, children will
understand that to create nonfiction that delights as well as informs, writers need
to have skin in the game.
100 percent of the proceeds from Nonfiction Writers Dig Deep will be divided among the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
The American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards are less than 3 weeks away. I can’t wait to find who the winners will be, can you?
As a nonfiction
lover, the Robert F.
Sibert Informational Book Medal is my
favorite award of all. And that’s why I started the Sibert Smackdown five years
ago. It’s a fun activity for students in grades 3-8. And there’s still time for
you and your students to participate.
Check out this post for all the details, including my list of recommended titles. I hope you’ll join us.
Please use the Twitter hashtag #SibertSmackdown to share what you and your students are doing.
Monday, January 4, 2021
On Mondays this year, I’m going to be sharing some of these resources and providing ideas for how they might be used in the classroom. Today, I’m going to focus on the Whole-class & Whole-school Nonfiction Activities section, which you can access by clicking on the Nonfiction Reading Resources icon.