Friday, October 30, 2015

Nonfiction Smackdown!

A few weeks ago I attended a fantastic EdCamp at Dedham Middle School in Dedham, MA. The event was organized by the MA School Library Association’s Professional Learning Committee, chaired by the uber-talented Laura D’Elia.

It was a great day of learning and sharing. One of my favorite ideas of the day was the Nonfiction Smackdown!, brainchild of teacher-librarian Judi Paradis who works at Plympton School in Waltham, MA. Don’t you just love that name?

Here’s how it works. Students in grades 3-5 read two nonfiction books on the same topic. Then they evaluate and compare the two titles, recording their thinking on a worksheet like this one:

When students are done, they can share their responses with classmates. Or the worksheets can be posted, so that other students can use the information to help them make book choices.

The fun activity gets kids reading and thinking and sharing. It’s great!

Note: You can find a more printable version of the Nonfiction Smackdown! worksheet on my pinterest Reading Nonfiction Board:

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