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Tapping the Power of Nonfiction

By Lucy Calkins, Katie Clements

Nonfiction reading skills are essential to students’ achievement in virtually every academic discipline. To do science, students need to read science books and articles. To study history, they need to be skilled at reading all kinds of primary and secondary sources. When we help students become powerful readers of nonfiction, we help them become powerful learners.

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About the Unit

Nonfiction reading skills are essential to students’ achievement in virtually every academic discipline. To do science, students need to read science books and articles. To study history, they need to be skilled at reading all kinds of primary and secondary sources. When we help students become powerful readers of nonfiction, we help them become powerful learners.

This unit assumes you have a reading workshop up and running in your classroom and that your students have done some work in reading partnerships.

Note: resources for teaching Tapping the Power of Nonfiction in more than one grade level, including alternate read-alouds and minilessons with these texts, are available on the online resources for this unit.

About the Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Middle Grades Series

We want our middle grades students to become flexible, resilient readers, we want them to have a toolkit of strategies for dealing with difficulty, and we want them to read broadly and deeply, alert to the intricacies of texts and to the power of language. To accomplish such ambitious goals, we need classroom structures and resources that support this kind of explicit teaching and learning. The reading workshop offers a simple and predictable framework for teaching strategies and for giving students feedback while they are in the midst of the ever-changing, complex reading work they will do across the middle school grades.  

The Units of Study for Teaching Reading series saves teachers hundreds of hours of planning, freeing time for analyzing student work, working with individuals and small groups, and for studying with colleagues. The series provides teachers with the tools and support they need to move students quickly and efficiently toward grade-level expectations, while also helping kids become proficient, lifelong readers.

 

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