Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Traditional Nonfiction, and Not-so-Traditional

Nearly every educational publisher carries traditional nonfiction books,  but there are also publishers and imprints within traditional publishers that entertain some interesting not-so-traditional nonfiction. Many of these target struggling learners.

A large proportion of educational nonfiction uses photographs, but sometimes you find them illustrated. Take a look at Picture Windows, a Capstone imprint, and Magic Wagon from Abdo.

Opportunities for author/ illustrators. 

You'll find nonfiction written as poetry.

This one is from Picture Windows (Capstone).

This one is from Millbrook, an imprint of Lerner.

Graphic nonfiction burst onto the scene a few years ago and is a favorite of many teachers looking for creative ways to present information to their reluctant readers.

Rourke's Illustrated History

Capstone's Graphic Science. Max Axiom as the narrator has been a huge success.

Narrative nonfiction uses writing techniques that fiction writers employ, like character, setting, and narrative arc, to create a more readable text that is still completely nonfiction. Bearport markets their books with this narrative nonfiction tagline. Their books are all built around this model. Read Dolphins in the Navy for an example.

AV2 by Weigl creates audio-visual enhanced nonfiction. By going to a website and typing in a code from the book, teachers can access audio clips, video imaging, web links, and downloadable games and quizzes based on the book. All materials are accessible for smart boards. This spread is from Racoons in the Animals in My Backyard series.

Many publishers carry a line of Hi/Lo books. High interest, meaning things that a student might do in his spare time without the aid of an adult. Written at a Low reading level.

Snap books are middle grade hi/lo books for girls from Capstone.

You'll also find lots of publishers with books written on difficult subjects at a lower reading level for struggling readers who still need the content information. Heinemann's Freestyle imprint mirrors books from their regular line, but written at a lower reading level.
Geology Rocks targets 6th to 10th grade readers, but it's written at a 6th grade reading level. 
Here is a spread from Geology Rocks written at a third grade reading level.  

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