Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gotta Minute?

     Here’s some good news for all of us who like to share nonfiction with kids. iNK Think Tank has made available a sneak peek of The Nonfiction Minute, a free website that consists of short nonfiction texts, plus illustrations, and audio recordings of the authors reading their own work. The website includes original work by authors as Vicki Cobb, Alexandra Siy, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, David Schwartz, Andrea Warren, and Cheryl Harness.  Wow! These are nonfiction heavy hitters! That means there are science, math and social studies texts all ready and waiting. This is the beginning of a gold mine of short examples of good writing that we can use for minilessons, introductions to these nonfiction writers and their work, and most importantly—for enjoyment.

     You are probably aware of the excellent work of iNK authors, but are your students? Maybe not. So one use of the website it to introduce children to these writers and how they write.  Students will immediately see that these authors have voice. Their writing sounds like a human being wrote it—a person like them with strong preferences and opinions about the world and with deep interests. Then, too, just by reading these pieces, students will learn something new and interesting. Not bad for a minute or so of your time.

     Right now when you go to the website you will see all the Nonfiction Minutes created so far. In the upper right hand corner there is a tab that says For Teachers. Full disclosure: When you click this tab, you will see my picture and some of my suggestions for using the Nonfiction Minutes. There is also another tab that says Contact. When you click it, it says “Write something! We write back.” I know for sure that there are authors eager to hear from you and they will respond.

     So, check it out. Here’s the website:
And don’t forget. There is much more to come. The plan is to have a new Nonfiction Minute every day once the school year begins. That will be quite a collection of material, and it will be archived according to content. When you are planning for the fall, this might be just the thing to use to introduce more nonfiction in your classroom or library. But for now, take a look at this new resource. 

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