Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Using High-Interest Nonfiction to Build Comprehension

The more students know about a topic, the more they tend to like it.  Students love reading fiction.  The tricky part is trying to get them to read informational text.

Doing something as easy as taking a nature hike might be enough to grab their interest.  I love nature and enjoy going into the field to experience nature before I write about it.

The pioneers and Native Americans made salads
using dandelion leaves.

I foraged for native plants that have been used throughout history for food.  I would not recommend doing this with a class, but teaching students an unusual fact about plants that are in their own backyards can spark interest in reading more about plants.

Black walnut seeds provide food for squirrels and other rodents.  They also are the home of maggots that
keep safe in the warm layer under the outer shell of this seed.

This is a picture of a wild plant called bloodroot.  It is an ephemeral.
Ephemerals are plants that bloom for just a few weeks out of the year.
They grow in early spring before larger plants are able to grow and 
compete with them for sunlight.

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