Saturday, January 26, 2013

Non-Fiction Focus: Narrative Biography

As we look towards the Common Core and the additional emphasis on non-fiction I have been working on a non-fiction unit with my third graders. We've studied text features and text structures. Now they are researching an animal and will be creating their own non-fiction book about their animal!

One of my favorite non-fiction books I've read to my students is My Name is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter. The book describes Georgia O'Keefe's life from a childhood, to her schooling in Chicago, to her experiences in New Mexico.

This book is quite complex (to use that favorite Common Core word!) as the author embeds quotes from Georgia O'Keefe throughout. If possible, this would be a wonderful book to read under a document camera so that students can see where the text switch from the narrator to quotes.

My students were familiar with Georgia O'Keefe from an art project where they made their own red poppies, which added a fun element to reading the book. Living in Chicago many of my students had seen Sky Above Clouds IV at the Art Institute and recognized the importance of the incorporation of clouds throughout the book. The art and social studies connections that could be made from this book are numerous.

If your students are going to be writing biographies this would be a wonderful mentor text for them as the narrative style is much more interesting (to me as a reader!) than the traditional elementary school biography.

If you're looking for more non-fiction suggestions (or amazing children's book suggestions, in general) you MUST visit: (they are doing a non-fiction Wednesday link up)

Hopefully, you'll see more ways to incorporate non-fiction instruction in your classroom from me!


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