How to encourage kids to read nonfiction and Happy Presidents’ Day!
Reading can be a struggle for some kids. Reading dry, boring nonfiction mandated by teachers can be painful.
Do you know that the Common Core State Standards require over 50% of the readings in elementary school to be nonfiction?
I can see why. The standards are crafted to prepare students for college, career, and life. Reading nonfiction helps achieve that ambitious goal.
Luckily, not all nonfiction is created equal. There are plenty of great, attention-grabbing histories, biographies, or STEAM books for kids on the market. Who said nonfiction books don’t have to include sparkling characters or twisted plots? Many do exactly that.
Let’s explore the three steps of introducing nonfiction to your child. In the spirit of Presidents’ Day, my examples are books on that very special holiday.
1. Mix fiction with nonfiction and add some humor:
Duck for President (A Click Clack Book) by Doreen Cronin
I love the unique presentation of the subject, and I guarantee you every child will be intrigued by the title and the cover of that one.
This book presents so much – a little math, introduction to the electoral process, and a lot of the typical problems of the adults - self-actualization and fulfillment with career and social status. The hilarious presentation of the text and the illustrations make this book an unforgettable read.
2. Include irresistible FUN facts:
So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George
Kids are giant sponges for the information presented the right way, and this Caldecott-winning classic includes so many entertaining facts.
So You Want to Be President? is one of the books adults enjoy reading to their kids because it is just so good. The comical illustrations and fun tidbits separate this book from the rest on the subject.
What are the good things about being a president?
You have your own Movie Theater and bowling alley.
What are the bad things about being a president?
You have to dress up all the time.
What child would pass on fun facts like that?
3. Though provoking books that kids can relate to
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
Once again, the elements of fiction and nonfiction blend in this informative book that beautifully handles gender and race equality.
This "thought-provoking" New York Times bestseller shows us that “the best man” for the job doesn't have to be a "man" at all, but any hard-working, independently thinking individual.
Grace for President introduces the electoral system in an entertaining way and provokes thoughts on how to choose our leaders.
Whichever book you choose for your little readers, it would be an excellent first step towards planting the seeds of love for nonfiction and helping your kid succeed academically.
Since we are on the subject, I cannot pass up this opportunity to include some fun facts about the presidents of the US.
James Madison was the shortest President – 5 feet 4 inches, while Abraham Lincoln was the tallest – 6 feet 4 inches.
John F. Kennedy was the youngest President (43), while Joe Biden was the oldest one elected (78).
Franklin D. Roosevelt won four times – 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944. He was also the first to appear on television and the first president to fly in an airplane.
Barack Obama was the first black President in US history.
James Buchanan was the only President who never married.
John Quincy Adams was believed to be the most intelligent President with an IQ of over 160. He also had the interesting habit of swimming nude on the Potomac River early in the mornings.
I hope you enjoy this post. Don't forget to grab some exciting books for your kiddoes and subscribe to my blog for more!
Did you read my blog post on How to get kids interested in books?