Throughout the first several minilessons, I used charts, photographs, and diagrams to encourage the children to do the important work that nonfiction readers do: pay attention to details, and put parts of the text together in their minds. I shared that readers of nonfiction books do an "extra-brainy, intense kind of thinking"; that nonfiction readers pay attention to details and think, 'How can I put together what I'm seeing to grow my knowledge of this topic?'.
During these first few minilessons, the kids became fascinated with the photos of "long ago" Yarmouth. I used this as an opportunity to extend their learning with an activity that quickly became a big hit! Each morning, I posted a historic photograph of Yarmouth on the whiteboard. I encouraged the kids to pay close attention to the details in the photograph to grow their knowledge about the town of Yarmouth. On the following day, I posted a present day photo of the same location, with the help of the Yarmouth Historical Society website. The kids were extremely engaged in this activity, pushing one another to collect many details to grow their knowledge. Be sure to ask your child what they learned about the Village Florist on Main Street...and what this building was once used for.
We will continue with our nonfiction unit after winter break, focusing on how to best use text features in nonfiction books to learn more about the topic.
Working together to collect details and grow our knowledge about Yarmouth.