Today that number has gone up.
The Common Core State Standards (and Iowa Core) have been aligned with the National Assessment Governing Board Reading Framework for the 2009 NAEP, so here are the percentages that our students should be reading at these grade levels.
That's more than half of what my 8th graders read should to be Informational. Informational text includes both literary nonfiction and informational text in social studies, science and technical subjects. Students need to be reading some of this in content areas too, but they better be reading literary nonfiction and learning how to read informational text in my English course too in order to reach that high percentage.
In considering the fiction and nonfiction our children read, do students need to be able to know which kind they are reading?
1. How far-out should nonfiction go?
2. How far should authors of nonfiction go in entertaining children as they seek to inform them? Located on nonfiction lists you can find:
- A book about a meteor told in the first person by the rock. (Call Me Ahnighito by Pam Conrad)
- A book based on the words of an advertising writer that purports to be a speech by a famous Native American. (Brother Eagle Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers)
- A book about penguins in Antarctica that describes them as having friends and panicking at the approach of helicopters. (Helen Coucher's Antarctica)
- A book about architecture that tells children they can talk to buildings. (Forest Wilson's What it Feels Like to Be a Building.)
4. Are authors and publishers obligated to help children become critical readers or to produce best selling books?
What do you have to say about these ideas? How much nonfiction do you read? Your students?
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