Expand Your Thinking
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. (Walt Disney)
Exploration of nonfiction is a wonderful opportunity to motivate and facilitate curious minds. Life is messy. Involve students in activities that allow them to work with information and demonstrate their understandings. Provide scenarios that involve young people in using information in a variety of situations.
As you think about infusing nonfiction materials into the classroom, consider the different aspects of critical and creative thinking that are necessary to address standards and nurture inquiry.
We know that there's not room in our program to add more, so think about ways to infuse nonfiction into your existing activities.
As you explore ways to enhance your program, explore the personal interests of you and your children (Koechlin and Zwaan, 2006):
- Which students are you most interested in? What is it about these subjects that interests you?
- Are there certain topics within these subjects that hold more interest than others? Which? Why?
- If you could study/investigate anything you wanted to, what would it be?
- How does your curiousity about a topic affect how you approach it, how hard you work at it, how much you remember?
In this section, we'll explore five ways to integrate nonfiction into your existing classroom activities.