Today we are going back to the library for our second nonfiction independent reading book. Students will be choosing a nonfiction book that is not solely biography or autobiography.
Before we leave the classroom, I hand out the Ideas, Events, Individuals Reading Log. This is a twist on the reading log we used for our Autobiography/Biography selection, and I want to show them the differences before we get to the library.
Namely, I point out the box that asks them to identify their quote as an example of an idea, event, or individual. I also have them articulate the importance of that particular quote on the reading log.
Once everyone understands the changes, we head out to the library!
Once we're in the library, I will take a moment to remind my students where the nonfiction books are. I also ask my library to pull a few samples of literary nonfiction and a few examples of reference-type nonfiction books (lots of diagrams and pictures, but no real narrative flow). This gives me a chance to show the kiddos what a good choice and bad choice look like.
And now, we search!
I circulate through my students answering questions about the appropriateness of topics, books, and reading levels (both too high and too low).
When there are about 20 minutes left in class, I ask everyone to find a cozy spot to sit and read.
The remainder of our time in the library is spent reading our new treasures silently. I ask students to be on the lookout for the quote they will use on tonight's reading log. They are thrilled to have had a chance to do some "homework" in class.
When I collect the reading logs the following day, I look them over more carefully than I will as we move further into this genre. Taking the time to comment on the first reading log catches the students who are off base and reassures the students who are doing well with the assignment.