In our classrooms, we are being "encouraged" to focus more and more on nonfiction to meet all of the standards put into place by those who wouldn't be caught dead doing our job.
Bitterness aside, I've taught 4th grade for the past 7 years and each week when my class would go to the library, I would check their books in and out while the librarian helped them find their favorite genres, topics and authors. In the process, I noticed that most of my students (and I had 60-90 each school year) were selecting nonfiction.
My second graders - not so much. But one of my goals this year is to open their eyes to the magic of this genre, impress upon them the idea that knowledge is power, and help them develop a genuine affection for nonfiction.
This nonfiction Halloween book by National Geographic Kids is only 32 pages long, but it's jam-packed with interesting kid-friendly facts - did you know that pumpkins contain about 500 seeds and they can be orange, red, green, yellow, tan and white? There are good ideas for giving trick-or-treaters a creepy welcome, tidbits about candy corn, how Halloween came to be, ideas for Halloween crafts, information about Day of the Dead, and in true nonfiction style, a (very small) glossary. There are even some Halloween jokes.
It's the perfect reading level for 2nd & 3rd graders, which makes it a great starting for their love of nonfiction! With a table of contents, glossary, photographs, captions, label, and headings, this book can also reinforce basic nonfiction text features.