This is a guest blog post from fifth-grade teacher Diane Roethler that originally ran in June 2014. If you like what you read here, check out her blog at this link!
One of the activities that my kids like to do with nonfiction books sets is a sort of scavenger hunt. I like the hunt to focus on various features of nonfiction books—table of contents, index, glossary, etc.
In my experience, when you ask a specific question, students don’t even know where to begin, so they start paging through the entire book. Needless to say, that is very inefficient and time-consuming. It’s also frustrating for the students. So I like activities like this as an intro to nonfiction books.
For this particular activity, I will be using books from the Download Series. They are high-interest, yet my lower students will experience success. I also tell the kids that if they wish to read the book after they’ve finished the hunt, they have my permission to do that. (It seems that some students are more likely to read the book if I tell them that they don’t have to read it.)
I have included a generic worksheet that will go with any of the books in the Download series, and maybe even pair well with other nonfiction books that you have in your classroom. You can download this worksheet at the bottom of this page.
Diane has been teaching fifth grade in Iowa since 1999. She has her masters in Educational Technology and loves finding ways to integrate technology into her curriculum. She blogs about organization, classroom management, DIY projects, and more at fifthinthemiddle.blogspot.com.
To download an information sheet with more information about the Download Series, which contains the books show in this post, click the image to the left below. To download the nonfiction book worksheet, click the image to the right.