5 years ago1,000+ Views
What happened to those eager elementary readers who worked their way through your animal books? In middle school, I rarely have students browsing the mammals section, so I make sure to highlight this book during book talks. Ann Downer provides fascinating insight into how elephants communicate. The information is presented in an engaging way, with photos throughout the book. I generally just read a few facts from it during a book talk, and it's grabbed before it hits the table. Learning about infrasound and how elephants can "read" vibrations with their feet are just a few facts that will grab the reader. The book ends with some ideas on how we can protect elephants, and after reading it, students will surely care enough to do so! Recommended for 6th and up; younger readers will enjoy the layout but may stumble over some of the vocabulary.
@LibraryLady In our dreams we could do just that, and there probably are those few lucky people. But I agree, non-fiction is (sometimes) more useful. I also just think that reading both non-fiction and fiction makes both experiences richer, because our minds have learned so much more that an enhance each piece!
@greggr, good point! I was strictly a fiction reader as a kid, and reading non-fiction is a different skill. I hate to admit it, but non-fiction reading is more useful in real life. I mean, how many of us can grow up and do nothing but read novels all day?
@ryantadman, I think the problem has been the requirements that students start reading more fiction as they get older. In my experience in an elementary school library, boys in particular were avid readers of non-fiction. They'd read every dinosaur book, every shark book, etc. Then in second grade, teachers started pushing them toward chapter books. Now that many US states are adopting the Common Core State Standards, the pendulum is swinging back toward non-fiction. I feel that reading is reading, and the more kids read, the more comfortable they'll feel reading anything! So I'm happy with kids reading graphic novels, magazines, blogs, etc., just as long as they're reading!
@ryantadman and, the great thing about getting young students interested in non-fiction is that they'll be able to read such a wide variety of material as the grow up, even fiction! Many fiction readers find difficulty doing the opposite.
From my experience, young students still love non-fiction (They devour funny facts like no other!) so its not a lack of interest, but a lack of good sources of NF. I'd actually be quite interested to read this book. Great find!
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