Monday, February 5, 2018

5 Faves: Expository Nonfiction Recommended by Erika Victor

My list of expository nonfiction faves is way longer than 5, so this was really hard! I decided to focus on books that we can use for our ecosystems unit (which overlaps our nonfiction reading/information writing and a bit of our opinion writing units).

Cactus Hotel by Brenda Z. Guiberson (Square Fish, 1991)
This is an oldie but a goodie. It describes a fragile desert ecosystem so well. Who says a cactus cannot be a main character?

Giant Squid by Candace Fleming (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2016)
This book entranced my students and really showed them the value of a strong lead in writing. I love that it showcases one of the fascinating creatures in our world’s ocean ecosystems. I have to get ahold of more of Candace’s nonfiction books. 

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2017)
I always have a few students who love sharks! Last year a few even worked on shark projects as their Genius Hour choice. I love how the interdependence of living things is stressed in this book. 

Predator Face-Off  by Melissa Stewart (National Geographic, 2017)
Kids love to learn about predators, and this book will really teach them about the adaptations that make these predators so mighty. I love the photos with clear labels. This will be a great mentor text for informational writing, and it shows how the three different predators thrive in three different environments. This book could be paired with the Who Would Win books that so many of my students reread.
 
What Makes a Monster? Discovering the World’s Scariest Creatures by Jess Keating (Knopf, Penguin Random House, 2017)
I know kids will love this book when I share it with them. It highlights 17 animals and includes information about where they live and how they survive in their habitats. Using this book also gives me a good reason to talk up Jess’s great website and YouTube channels. 

Erika Victor is a third grade teacher lucky enough to work with international students in Malaysia. She loves reading, writing, making, technology, and more! Her class loves connecting! Find her at @ErikaMVictor and occasionally her class at @3EVclass.

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