Monday, February 11, 2013

Common Core - Informational Text (+ a freebie)

We had a snow day on Friday and another one today, which gave me time to finish up a few projects that I've been working on.  

We've been working on informational text features. I use my own unit to help my students explore important informational text features.

We practice the new skills we learned about informational text features while we do a little penguin research.  I just posted my Nonfiction Penguin Unit last night.  You can check it out by clicking on the image below.  One of my goals in creating this unit for my students, was to provide a little more depth of knowledge (the focus of the common core standards) before each student writes his/her own animal research report in April.

My students LOVE doing their own animal research reports each year!  They choose their own animal and then they use the animal research book below as a guide for writing their reports.

I've also been working on creating a "nonfiction nook" in my classroom.  Since the common core standards stress the importance of children reading more nonfiction texts, I decided the best way for me to make sure they are reading "more" nonfiction texts is to create a special place (and a special time of the day) for reading nonfiction texts.

My plan is a work in progress (and so is the space), but here is what I've decided so far...

My students choose books for quiet reading, independent reading and buddy reading from leveled bins.  They do not each have their own bin, but I have bins which are leveled for them to choose from.  My students take home 2 books to read each night (from those bins) in a book bag.  I still want my leveled bins to be full of both fiction and nonfiction choices.  

I did pull out lots of nonfiction titles from each bin, and from my cabinets and from my library at home to help create bins full of nonfiction titles.  I'm arranging those bins by category, not be level (although the books each have a leveled sticker on them).  My plan is to start having a 2nd quiet reading time each day when students choose books from the "nonfiction nook".

I purchased bins (because I didn't already have thousands of those, right?), separated books in to the bins by category and made labels.  My handy husband is working on painting a shelf for my bins.  While he is doing that, I'm working on the decor and design of the nonfiction nook.  When it's finished, I'll take pictures for a big reveal.

In the meantime, I want to share the labels that I made.  Perhaps they will be helpful to some of you.  You can download them by clicking on the image below.

Praying for those of you in areas with severe weather!  Back to planning I go...


  1. I have my library labeled sectioned into a few categories - some books are grouped by their level and other by interest and the last few shelves are by ABC order. I love that common core is encouraging more non-fiction reading since kids really love to read non-fiction but for first grade it can be hard to find. Now, I see so many more non-fiction books at a first grade level.

    Thanks for the freebie! I will be using it soon!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Glad you can use the freebie!

  2. Thanks so much for the freebie! I noticed that on the label transportation and sports, the words weren't capitalized like the rest of the labels. Do you have the file so that you could quickly make one that is capitalized? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!


  3. Thanks for the freebie!
    Love all that informational text -- so necessary right now with Common Core.
    Jealous of your snow days!!!!

  4. Can't wait to hear more about this! I've wondered about creating non-fiction centers that can last all year with Daily 5 and creating a nook just might be the ticket. {A teacher can never have enough organization baskets!}


  5. We love the non-fiction labels! Our kiddos have been loving non-fiction after our informational text unit. These labels are great to help us integrate more non-fiction text into our classroom libraries!

    :) Tamra and Sarah @ First Grade Buddies

  6. I've also been working to make sure mupy kids are reading more informational text and I'm finding it easier than I thought it would be. They prefer to read nonfiction. I love your blog.

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