Students love nonfiction books! So, why not give them a way to begin looking for facts? In fact, why not do one practice per month?
Primary Grade teachers, using a leveled book, would need to model the process of looking, finding, and selecting. Then, they would need to model how to say it if they told a friend in their own words. When you think they are ready to give it a try, use a document camera--or overhead with copy--to allow a whole class practice. Give students a copy of fact sheet to use for whole class practice. They need this kind of modeling and practice before attempting it on their own.
Students can then be given leveled books to look at pictures, read the text, and decide what facts they decide are really cool, or they did not know, or they want to share with others. Give them post-it notes to use to stick to the book facts they want to use in their research. Once they have the three facts they want to use, they are ready to put it on paper.
After completing the fact sheet, give students a copy of the Illustration and Caption Sheet. On this part of the activity students can not only illustrate their facts, but also write a sentence explaining what they drew.
You would probably break the project into 1-2 days modeling; 1-2 days looking, reading, and selecting; and 1-2 days illustrating. In the end, what a great hallway display! You can also have Literacy/Writing Circles where you group 4 students who have read different books. They can share with each other their facts and illustrations. Over the course of a year, you will be able to see growth in reading, writing, and presentation.
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