You go to the library and your children are drawn to Dora the Explorer and Disney classics. But don’t forget about the wonderful world of non-fiction! I encourage my girls to choose non-fiction books each week. I think about animals they love, or activities they enjoy like riding a bike or baking a cake. We find a book to take home that teaches the skill or describes the animal. There are certain features of non-fiction books that even young toddlers and preschoolers can learn; I’ve listed them below. I also created a basic list of some non-fiction books to check out for different age levels. The Scholastic Reading Club is a wonderful place to order high quality non-fiction books at a low cost.
Important features to discuss when you and your child are reading non-fiction text:
- The Table of Contents
- Photographs (what’s the difference between photographs and illustrations?)
- Types of print (bold, italic, highlighted)
Non-fiction reading ideas by age range:
Preschoolers: National Geographic Little Kids Magazine
Grades 3–5: Non-fiction can be broken down into a few different categories for this age level: literary non-fiction, reference and informative fiction. Try the What Was…? series for this grade level.
— Maria Dismondy, mother of two, reading specialist, fitness instructor and bestselling children’s author living in Southeast Michigan