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What Does a 4th grader do during Media Center Time?

During media class our fourth graders have been exploring the wealth of knowledge gained from the study and reading of narrative nonfiction.

In fact, a recent article in Book Links magazine, “The Rising Star of Narrative Nonfiction,” by Kay Weisman, explores the resurgence of this genre, which is great because it often reads like a fictional story, but creatively presents facts because it pays close attention to plot structure and character development (Weisman 2011).

Not to be mistaken, though, it is nonfiction!

This genre is very important to prepare students for common core standards. The facts in these stories can be verified either by witness accounts or other verifiable information.  Students are learning about famous people and events in an engaging way.

As a whole class our fourth graders read several articles written in the narrative nonfiction genre during media class. Then they got to select a narrative nonfiction book to read. The overwhelming response was awesome!

Reading the book took two class periods, and most of the students left the first day of the assignment begging to check the book out to finish it.

Some of the books students read included, Irena Sendler and the children of the Warsaw Ghetto by Susan Goldman Rubin; Here Come the Girl Scouts!: the amazing all-true story of Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low and her great adventure by Shana Corey, Bad news for outlaws: the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy US Marshal; Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball by David A. Kelly; Togo by Robert J. Blake; All Stations Distress!: April 15, 1912: The Day the Titanic Sank by Don Brown and so many more. 

As a culminating activity for this media project students filled out an analysis sheet to demonstrate how their book qualified as narrative nonfiction. They answered questions that show their book qualifies as either a disaster text or as an achievement text, two types of narrative nonfiction books. Then students wrote a summary of their book and told why they enjoyed it.

Using the audio editing software called Audacity and a microphone, students recorded their summaries. They took a picture with their book, and then Ms. Barnes created a QR code of their recording. We then took the pictures and the QR codes and placed them on a poster that was computer graphically designed by students in the fourth grade class.  

Weisman, Kay. “The Rising Star of Narrative Nonfiction”. Book Links, June 2011.

Written by: Melissa Barnes, Media Specialist
Posted: Jul 14, 2015 by Carrie Johnson

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