Monday, November 27, 2017

5 Faves: Expository Nonfiction Recommended by Carrie Gelson

I chose five favorite titles that I have used multiple times with high success in the classroom.  All of these books are titles that I consistently share in my workshops, and I hear back from teachers that they have gone on to successfully share these books in their own classrooms.

Can We Save the Tiger?  by Martin Jenkins  (Candlewick, 2011)
This book introduces students to a huge variety of endangered and extinct animals. With some creatures, like the tiger, a rich array of details are provided about the animal, including reasons for its vulnerable status. Heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. And the illustrations are breathtaking.

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009)
How can we not be intrigued at the idea that we may only have encountered half of the large animals living in the sea? Explore various layers of the ocean as Jenkins takes us on a journey farther and farther into the deep. This is a slow read aloud that requires frequent stops to explore more details in the back pages or further sources. This book leaves students spellbound and wanting to learn more.
Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)
So much to learn about in this book: how sight has evolved, how different kinds of vision work, and page after page of unique and incredibly interesting facts about specific animal eyes. Students love comparing information about each animal's actual size, the size of its eyes, and how the way it sees impacts its perception of the world. 

This title features a plethora of pink creatures from around the world and includes wild and wacky facts about each one. Every page features specific information under these headings: Name, Species name, Size, Diet, Habitat, and Predators and threats. The consistent organization makes this an easy title for students to navigate, and the handsome cover model is a magnet for curious readers.

Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers  by Sara Levine (Millbrook Press/Lerner, 2016)
This title is a fantastic resource in the elementary classroom, featuring fun and interactive read aloud with interesting guess and find out questions and answers. What would you be if your top canine teeth grew almost all the way down to your feet? Get the book and find out!

Carrie Gelson has taught Grades 2-5 for the last 22 years in Vancouver B.C. She is passionate about all things literacy and building a community of readers in her classroom. Carrie blogs about books and education on her blog There's a Book for That and can be found on twitter at @CarrieGelson. Carrie particularly loves talking about nonfiction books and how to bring more interactive and engaging nonfiction read-alouds into our weekly routines.

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