Welcome to another Nonfiction Monday. I am excited to host this weekly event where readers and writers gather to talk about their favorite nonfiction works.
As part of Nonfiction Monday, I will link to other nonfiction reviews from blogs around the Kidlitsphere. If you want to your review included, simply leave a comment or email me. And remember, you must link to the specific post (not just your general blog home page). Check throughout the day for updates, too.
Like many authors of nonfiction, I believe good nonfiction rests on the belief that the truth is sometimes way stranger—or funnier, or more fascinating—than fiction. It’s certainly what drives my approach in nonfiction. Still, even the funniest or most entertaining work will be of little interest to a certain type of child—particularly the reluctant reader or the dreamy fantasy-fan who thinks, “facts are boring.”
Author Doraine Bennett shakes up pre-conceived notions about “boring facts” by putting kids right into the middle of the action. Literally.
Readers Theatre forGlobal Explorers is a substantial collection of short scripts that bring the stories of ancient and modern explorers to life. Teachers and librarians use them to help students inhabit or “become” both famous and little known explorers.
The scripts—divided by regions such as “The Americas,” “Africa,” “The Artic,” and others—make it easy for social study teachers to tie scripts to their curriculums and bring fresh perspectives to the study of global exploration throughout history.
Even better, the quick reads don’t require sets, props or costumes. The kids can prepare in moments simply by reading the material for emotional content before performing the skits. The scripts are a bit like radio drama, where the energy of the work must come through the voice. This can be a great tool for the extroverted child who may like to “ham” it up. But it’s also very useful for the introverted child who may need coaxing to read aloud. Reading as the observer/narrator can be an effective way to reach the shy student.
In addition to the creative way the plays capture the essence of either the personalities or the actual voyages, Bennett includes extension activities at the end of each script, which helps deepen the understanding of both the circumstances and the individuals involved.
People often talk about multi-modal learning, but are not always clear how to implement it in the classroom. Readers Theatre for Global Explorers is a great tool for students who need to move and/or “experience” the information in order to learn. Every social studies teacher should have it in his or her classroom arsenal!
Readers Theatre for Global Explorers
By Doraine Bennett
Publisher: Libraries Unlimited
For 4th-8th grade classrooms
Available on Amazon or through the publisher
Nonfiction Reviews from Around the Web:
Wild About Nature blog reviews CHICKS AND CHICKENS by Gail Gibbons.
A Patchwork of Books reviews BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Diana Hutts Aston.
SimplyScience reviews HOW BIG? HOW HEAVY? HOW DENSE? by Jennifer Boothroyd.
Wrapped in Foil reviews 13 PLANETS: THE LATEST VIEW OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM by David A. Aguilar.
Shelf-Employed reviews WE ARE AMERICA: A TRIBUTE FROM THE HEART by Walter Dean Meyers.
Jean Little Library reviews BAGHDAD PUPS by Meish Goldish.
Lori Calabrese Writes! reviews HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING published by National Geographic Children's Books.
Check it Out reviews DAZZLING DRAGONFLIES: A LIFE CYCLE STORY by Linda Glaser.
Proseandkahn reviews THE MEADOWLANDS: A WETLANDS SURVIVAL STORY by Thomas F. Yezerski
Books 4 Learning reviews ALEXANDER THE GREAT by Demi.
Geo Librarian reviews THUNDER BIRDS: NATURE'S FLYING PREDATORS by Jim Amosky.
True Tales & A Cherry On Top reviews BEFORE THERE WAS MOZART: THE STORY OF JOSEPH BOULOGNE, CHEVALIER de SAINT-GEORGE by Lesa Cline Ransome.
Rasco from RIF reviews PICASSO: SOUL ON FIRE by Rick Jacobson.
All About the Books with Janet Squires reviews THROUGH GEORGIA'S EYES by Rachel Rodriguez.
Pratically Paradise/SLJ Curriculum Connections reviews HOW THEY CROAKED: THE AWFUL ENDS OF THE AWFULLY FAMOUS by Georgia Bragg.