1998 Fall Non-Fiction


  Best Books
  Nancy's Books
  Literature Guides


Nancy's picks for the best non-fiction of fall 1998 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1998.
Carlstrom, Nancy White. MIDNIGHT DANCE OF THE SNOWSHOE HARE illus.by Ken Kuroi. Philomel, 1998. Gr 2-6
An Alaskan summer comes alive with poems of snowshoe hares, chickadees, the Great Horned Owl, grouse, wolves and other wildlife hidden by the green trees.
ACTIVITY: Choose one of the animals in this book. Find three things it eats, three places you would find it, three things it does and three things it has. Use the information in this pattern:
If I were a _________ I would have ( name three things) and I'd eat ( name three things) and I'd (name three things it does) And if you look carefully you can find me (name three places). Illustrate your animal pattern report.
Curlee, Lynn. INTO THE ICE AGE: THE STORY OF ARCTIC EXPLORATION. Houghton-Mifflin, 1998. Gr 4-6
Imagine living in the Arctic in a driftwood shelter an entire winter with temperatures at 50 degrees below zero.This happened to a Dutch expedition stranded on the Arctic islands in 1596. This and other exciting expeditions are described in this exciting book.
ACTIVITY: Have a research contest. For each letter of ARCTIC list as many things as you can that begin with the letters that an explorer would find there. Have a time limit. The winner finds & lists the most.
Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur. PRAIRIE TOWN. Houghton-Mifflin, 1998. Gr 1-3
One year in the life of a midwestern railroad town one hundred years ago.
ACTIVITY: Compare your life today with the lives of the people in this prairie town. Compare: work, getting food,washing clothes, shopping, entertainment.
Hansen, Joyce. WOMEN OF HOPE. African Americans Who Made A Difference. Scholastic, 1998. Gr 3-6
The lives and accomplishments of thirteen African-American women who blazed uncharted paths in journalism, politics, law, education, science and the arts.
ACTIVITY: Use the bio-poem model to tell about one of these women. Each heading is a separate line.Name, Four traits, Related to, Cares deeply about, Who feels, Who needs, Who gives, Who would like to see, Resident of....
Koscielniak, Bruce. HEAR, HEAR, MR. SHAKESPEARE. Houghton-Mifflin, 1998. Gr 3-6
Shakespeare's dates and list of plays along with many quotes from the plays as a group of players approach the bard in his Stratford-on-Avon garden to request that he write a new play for them.
ACTIVITY: Challenge students to use one of the lines in the book at home in normal conversation and report the reaction of those who hear the line.
Kroll, Steven. THE BOSTON TEA PARTY. Illus. by Peter Fiore. Gr 4-6
A major event in American history, the dumping of tea in the Boston harbor to protest taxes, is recounted here along with handsome illustrations.
ACTIVITY: Create as many 'only one' statements about the American Revolution as you can. Example:There were many ships in the Boston harbor, but ONLY ONE was the scene of the Boston Tea Party.
Lester, Julius. BLACK COWBOY WILD HORSES. Illus by Jerry Pinkney. Dial, 1998.
The true story of Bob Lemmons, a former slave whose tracking ability as a Texas cowboy was legendary.
ACTIVITY: Use 'Nat Love: Black Cowboy' found in Lee Bennett Hopkins' HAND IN HAND as a model for writing about Bob Lemmons in poetry.
Tolhurst, Marilyn. THE EXPLORER'S HANDBOOK. Dutton 1998. Gr 4-6
Everything one needs to become an explorer from how to make equipment to baking spice cookies.
ACTIVITY:: Rank order the items in John Speke's survival kit ( page 19( from the most to the lease important.
Younger, Barbara. PURPLE MOUNTAIN MAJESTIES. Illus. by Stacey Schuett. Gr 2-6
The story of Katherine Lee Bates and her trip west from Massachusetts to Colorado passing through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and arriving in Colorado, which gave rise to her writing 'America The Beautiful.'
ACTIVITY: List four beautiful things one would see in your state and include them in this song (Tune: 'This Land Is Your Land').
As I was walking through (Your state) I saw _________ and _________. I saw __________and ___________. A great State for everyone to see.