What’s new in third grade general studies? So so much! Students are learning to multiply and regroup, about the branches and levels of government, and how to read and write non-fiction. I could write pages and pages about everything we are doing, but for this blog post I am going to focus on non-fiction reading. Why is non-fiction reading important? Think about the kinds of things you read throughout the day (news, things related to your work, sales and coupons etc.) and you’ll see.
“Allowing students to explore and pursue their interests within a broad array of informational texts can help them to see that the real world can often be just as surprising and intriguing as make-believe.” (Goodwin, B. and Miller, K. 2012)
In the beginning of the year, the reading curriculum focused on fiction, which students loved. This quarter I have been teaching them how to read non-fiction, and it is a very different skill set than reading fiction. Reading non-fiction successfully begins with previewing the text features, and thinking about what you already know about the topic. Is the book narrative non-fiction that follows a familiar path? When students read non-fiction they are reading to learn, so I teach them to pause after a chunk of text and to note the main idea and supporting details. They teach their peers what they are learning and have conversations about the content. They are learning both content and social skills as they interact with one another.
Non-fiction reading and writing will continue throughout the year and you will see tremendous growth in these areas. I’m excited to show you their writing and the various ways they are learning to write non-fiction.