Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Common Core IRL: Baseball Edition

Though we have not posted for awhile in our Common Core: IRL, we have re-grouped and have a few posts coming up in the near future.  Check out the wonderful explanation post over on Great Kid Books about nonfiction and reading choice.

From Great Kid Books (Mary Ann Scheuer):

This week, our intrepid group of Common Core IRL literacy experts are going to bat for readers -- coming up with great baseball books to recommend for kids. We will focus on nonfiction for kids to read along the reading spectrum, from beginning readers to advanced middle grade readers. We will include books to read aloud to children, because it's essential to read engaging, interesting nonfiction aloud to our children.

Here's our batting line-up for Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries:

For more ideas about children's picture books on baseball, please check out my post from February 28, 2013 for a list of my favorite picture books about baseball.

Since March, I have been working with a number of 1st grade classes and a second grade class on reading comprehension, and writing.  It has been an interesting experience and has given me much to think about.  Click here to read all of the standards for Reading Informational Text for first grade.

As part of this project, I have been using a number of picture books to help students begin to ask and answer questions about key details (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1) and retell key details of a text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2).

Author and illustrator, Matt Tavares is a big fan of baseball and has written a number of picture books about baseball or baseball players.  For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on two of his wonderful picture book biographies about two icons of America's favorite past-time. 

Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares (Candlewick, 2013)

There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived by Matt Tavares (Candlewick, 2012)

Book Trailer for There Goes Ted Williams:

Both of these books are engaging, make excellent read alouds, and provide background information about these players that some may not know.

In addition to having students ask and answer questions and retell key details from the books, you can also have students focus on identifying similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.9).  Since the books are by the same author/illustrator, and written in similar style, it allows students to more easily make comparisons and identify differences.

Finally, you can assist young readers in learning about a few text features by looking at the author's note at the end of the book and the additional resources, timeline and other information provided (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.5).  This begins to lay the ground work for primary grade students in learning that informational text typically has features not present in fictional text. Students also begin to understand that these features have names, a purpose and a function which prepares them for more complex informational text with an increasing number of text features.   (Note: A good source of biographies with well utilized text features would be through National Geographic.)

With the proper introduction to informational text and the use of engaging material, you will hit one out of the park with your students.