Today 24 first graders sat on the story steps and listened to me describe almost 50 nonfiction books! When we looked at the clock, we were amazed to see their library time was done! All of us were so engrossed in the experience that lost track of time. I asked if any of them discovered a book on the cart they liked. All hands raised! Their tastes were varied, but their desires to learn more about topics of interest to them specifically led them to things like Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Elisha Cooper's Ice Cream. Like these children, we all learn more when our natural instincts for inquiry are stimulated.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
First Grade Inquiry
Most of the first grade teachers at my school limit the children's book selections to the Everybody section of the library. Though it helps the children learn how to find books well in alphabetical order, it limits their desire to search for and check out items from the nonfiction section. Many times during first semester, children would ask for "a dog book" or "a dinosaur book" or "a book about ships". I could always find something to suit them in the E section (What Pete Ate From A to Z by Maira Kalman, Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures With the Family Lazardo by William Joyce, or The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen).