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The Everything Guide to Informational Texts, K-2

The Everything Guide to Informational Texts, K-2
Best Texts, Best Practices

Foreword by Timothy Shanahan

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April 2014 | 296 pages | Corwin
Many educators, overwhelmed by the increasing demands of the profession and by the effort that the move to the Common Core Standards requires, continue to view fiction text as the primary source for both read aloud experiences and beginning reading instruction. This text helps all educators and prospective educators see nonfiction texts as an important component of all aspects of the PreK-2 curriculum and to provide them with practical, proven tools for selection and use of a wide variety of informational literature, including books, magazines, charts, graphs, digital media, and more. The authors examine why a balance of informational and narrative text is so important, and what recent research reveals about the value of using nonfiction text with young children. Those working most closely with children in kindergarten through second grade classrooms will find this to be a practical resource for understanding the Standards related to nonfiction text, and for selecting and using appropriate informational literature to build young children's background knowledge and their acquisition of foundational reading skills. Individuals responsible for professional development and for coaching teachers' implementation of the reading curriculum should be able to use this text in teacher book club discussion groups, and as the base for design of professional development sessions.
Foreword by Timothy Shanahan
Publisher's Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. New Standards, Timeless Goals: How Informational Texts Can Help Make Every Child a Reader
A Crash Course on the Common Core  
The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading  
Naming the Skills Involved in Reading Nonfiction and Fiction  
Where Do We Go From Here?  
Chapter 2. Bringing Informational Texts Into Your Teaching
Goal 1: Expose Children to More Complex Texts  
Goal 2: Pay More Attention to Oral Language  
Goal 3: Be More Intentional  
Goal 4: Differentiate Instruction  
Goal 5: Explicitly Teach From the Text  
Chapter 3. The How-To's of Selecting Stellar Texts
The New Nonfiction  
Evaluating Format and Visual Appeal  
Evaluating Accuracy and Authenticity  
Evaluating Writing Style and Appropriateness for Young Children  
Evaluating Potential Content and Curricular Connections  
Chapter 4. The Top Ten: Focus on These High-Impact Comprehension Strategies
Teaching High-Impact Skills and Strategies for Comprehending Informational Text  
Chapter 5. Demystifying What Makes Lessons Effective: The Lesson Plan Template
The Overarching Goal of Informational Text Lessons: Rigorous Text Experiences for All Students  
The Four Lesson Steps  
Chapter 6. Informational Text Read-Aloud Lessons in Kindergarten
The Common Core Standards for Informational Text Read-Alouds  
Using the Lesson Plan Template for the Read-Aloud  
Miss Webb's Kindergarten Class: A Sample Informational Text Read-Aloud Lesson  
Chapter 7. Informational Text Lessons in First Grade
What's Different About First Grade?  
Mrs. Stocker's First Graders: A Sample Informational Text Guided Reading Lesson  
Chapter 8. Informational Text Lessons in Second Grade
What About Students Who Are Not Reading With Grade-Level Proficiency?  
Mr. Morris's Second Graders: A Model Informational Text Guided Reading Lesson  
Chapter 9. Embedding Informational Texts in Units of Study
An Interdisciplinary Focus  
Planning Units of Study: Who Does What?  
Selecting High-Quality Informational Literature for Units of Study  
Concluding Thoughts  
Appendix A. Checklist for Evaluating Informational Literature
Appendix B. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Checklists
Kindergarten CCSS Checklist  
First Grade CCSS Checklist  
Second Grade CCSS Checklist  
Appendix C. Lesson Plan Template
Appendix D. Topical List of Informational Literature
Appendix E. Annotated Bibliography of Children's Books


There was a time when a book like this would have set out to try to persuade teachers. But, that’s not the issue anymore. . . . Teachers everywhere are asking themselves, ‘How do I teach with informational texts?’ Kathy Barclay and Laura Stewart provide a rich collection of practical answers to that question. Their book can--through its practical lessons, advice, and guidance--show teachers how to make informational text a joyful reality in the lives of our youngest scholars.”

Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago

“Kathy Barclay and Laura Stewart have done a marvelous job of providing teachers with specific suggestions for making the most of informational texts--from choosing the right texts for students, to practical and effective instructional strategies that will help students engage in close reading of these important texts, to an actual lesson format for teaching informational texts. Teaching informational texts can be a challenge for primary grade teachers. The Everything Guide to Informational Texts will help teachers and students meet that challenge!”

Timothy Rasinski, Ph.D., Kent State University
Kent State University

“The book is well written, well organized, and teacher friendly. It addresses a topic--the use of informational text with younger students--that has not been sufficiently addressed in guidelines associated with the CCSS.  It contains valuable lists of children’s nonfiction texts, annotated and organized by grade level. The suggested lesson format is illustrated concretely with sample lesson plans based on high-quality informational texts.”

Louisa Moats, Ed.D., Contributing Writer of the Common Core State Standards

“For K-2 teachers eager to select and teach from ‘informational texts of substance,’ Barclay and Stewart offer much guidance. With keen insight, they also direct our pedagogical attention to the oft-overlooked, but tremendously powerful, text complexity essentials--oral language development, read aloud, and shared reading.”

Jan Miller Burkins, Author of Preventing Misguided Reading

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