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Nonfiction Matters

Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8

Product Details Table of Contents

Check out the Study Guide that accompanies Nonfiction Matters. (The Study Guide is in PDF format so you'll need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view the pages.)

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When we open the gates to nonfiction inquiry, we open our thinking and expect the unexpected, making reading discoveries, research discoveries, and writing discoveries on our way. Nonfiction Matters offers teachers the tools to help students explore nonfiction and dig deep to reach more complete nderstanding of the real world and report these insights in a compelling manner.

Stephanie Harvey shows how students can read expository text, engage in research, and write authentic nonfiction that is captivating, visual, and full of voice. The inquiry projects she describes require in-depth learning: topic selection, question development, research exploration, reading for content, organization, synthesis, writing to convey meaning, and presenting findings—all skills that develop independent thinkers who know how to make decisions, solve problems, and apply their knowledge insightfully.

Full of practical suggestions to help you bring nonfiction into your curriculum, Nonfiction Matters:

  • presents strategies for understanding expository text and conducting meaningful research;
  • offers ideas for organizing and writing accurate, effective nonfiction from idea to finished presentation;
  • advances the importance of teacher modeling and guided practice in instructional delivery;
  • provides a list of inquiry tools and resources—both print and electronic;
  • suggests ways to facilitate project-based learning and assess the projects as they develop;
  • includes bibliographies of nonfiction children's books by subject and genre and lists of recommended magazines.

Why is nonfiction almost a guaranteed success? The key to teaching with nonfiction is passion, for children are passionate inquirers, and nonfiction fuels their curiosity and their demand for knowledge and understanding of the world.

About the Author(s)

Stephanie Harvey has spent the past thirty years teaching and learning about reading and writing. She received her B.A. from the University of Denver and her M.A. from the University of Colorado.

Table of Contents

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1. From Passion to Presentations
Part 1 Conditions for Successful Inquiry
2. Honoring Passion
3. Questions that Compel
4. Topics that Resonate: Let the Writer Choose
5. Authentic Resources
6. Showing Kids How
Part 2 The Nitty-Gritty
7. Reading Nonfiction: Learning and Understanding
8. Zeroing In: Observation and Secondary Research
9. Primary Research: Going Directly to the Source
10. Organizing Thinking: There's No One Way
Part 3 Putting It All Together
11. Getting It Down on Paper
12. Inquiry Genres: The Wide Range of Possibilities
13. Managing Nonfiction Inquiry Projects
14. Presentations and Assessment
A Final Word

Product Details

Media: 248 pp/paper
Year: 1997
Foreword Author: Foreword by Shelley Harwayne
Item No: WEB-0072
ISBN: 978-157110-072-6
Grade Range: 3-8