Friday, July 29, 2011

☼ Summer Nonfiction Reading Recommendations

Once again for summer, we're reposting some of our favorite pieces. Since so many people asked me for Anti-Summer Slump Nonfiction Recommendations, I thought I'd repost last month's article adding some great nonfiction for kids.

Here's my post from June 2011~
Summer is now officially upon us.  
It’s time for playing in swimming pools, and catching lightning bugs. 
It’s time for family vacations and summer camps. 
It’s time for popsicles and s’mores.
But, hopefully for our children, it’s not time for the… Summer Slide. 

Best described by President Barack Obama, in his proclamation for National Summer Learning Day in 2009,  Obama said, "A child who takes long breaks from learning can face academic setbacks. This problem is especially prominent during the summer, when students may lose more than two months of progress."
In a 2002 report from Johns Hopkins Center for Summer Learning, they outlined, "A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year...It's common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching could have been spent on teaching new information and skills."
One highly recommended way to help avoid the Summer Slide is summer reading, fiction AND nonfiction.
This past month at Weber State University at the first day of a two-day conference for educators, the 27th annual Reading and Writing Conference, Terrell A. Young, a literacy education professor at Washington State University, further explained the benefits of nonfiction reading. Young said, "Children who are mainly nonfiction readers will do well reading fiction, but fiction readers will not do as well reading nonfiction.” Some examples of how reading nonfiction benefits the student includes: helps in learning to decode such visual clues as charts, graphs, diagrams, sidebars with specialized information and even the meaning of parentheses, learning to use an index and glossary, and learning that bold or italic words in text are of greater significance.

Don’t know about you, but I was so excited by all the support for Nonfiction books. While researching online, I found many libraries and schools, from around the country, with recommended summer books lists that contained a 50/50 ratio of fiction and nonfiction.

Let’s hear a huge “YAY” for Interesting Nonfiction books for Kids!

And, while we’re talking about nonfiction reading for this summer, I have to mention magazines for kids. Well, actually, I have to point out only one magazine: the July/August 2011 issue of Appleseeds (Carus) Magazine ~ “Let’s Play!"

Consulting Editor: Anna M. Lewis
"10 Ways to Play with Nothing but Your Imagination" by Anna M. Lewis
*I just got these delivered by the UPS guy, so I had to announce. 

So, as we set off to enjoy this summer, Let’s Play. And, I wish to you and your families lots of swinging on swings and sliding on slides – the playground kind, of course. 

Anti-Summer Slide Nonfiction Recommendations:

Candy bomber : the story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot"
by Michael O.Tunnell
Charlesbridge 2010

Encyclopedia horrifica : the terrifying truth! about vampires, ghosts, monsters, and more  
Scholastic 2007
by Joshua Gee

Big Book of Things to Draw (Usborne Art Ideas)
by Fiona Watt, Anna Milbourne, Rosie Dickens
Usborne Books January 2007

Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions  
Don Woulffson (author)
Henry Holt 2000
(My 11YO's favorite NF book for a NF unit at school last year.)

200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills: For Aspiring Art Students
Valerie Colston
Barron's Educational Series 2008
(Love this book!)

38 Ways to Entertain Your Parents on Summer Vacation
Dette Hunter (author)
Kitty Macaulay (illustrator)
Annick Press 2005

Her Story: A Timeline of the Women
Who Changed America
Charlotte S. Waisman
Jill S. Tietjen
Collins April 2008

How Bright Is Your Brain?
Amazing Games to Play With Your Mind
Michael DiSpezio (author)
Catherine Leary (illustrator)
Sterling 2006

AND, of course, check out the fabulous books by my fellow INK blog writers. Follow their links and books on the right side of the INK site. 

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