Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nonfiction Wednesday

I'm excited that Alyson Beecher, at Kid Lit Frenzy, is continuing her Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge for the third year in a row.
     A couple weeks ago, I wrote a Nonfiction Wednesday post about what nonfiction my fifth graders were reading in order to explore their theme topic, EMPATHY.  This week, I'd like to share some of the nonfiction my 6th graders are reading around the theme topic SOCIAL INJUSTICE.  We're reading A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park in order to gear up for our #ReadWalkWater initiative and fundraiser.  Our Walk for Water is scheduled for November 7th.  We're excited to get started on raising funds for a well in Southern Sudan.  Meanwhile, we're looking at other global issues, human rights issues, and social injustice.  My sixth graders are ready for longer picture books and other longer nonfiction works, so these are not all exactly picture books.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I have several girls reading this book this month.  There is also a younger readers' version.  We read an article in Scope Magazine about her, and several of my sixth graders were interested in learning more about her.  What a brave young woman she is!
This is the third year I've taught my current sixth graders.  We studied the civil rights unit in 4th grade together, so many of them are revisiting that topic with a more sophisticated eye this year.
In sixth grade, kids become fascinated with the Holocaust.  Many of them ask questions about why social injustices happen.  They want to ask, why didn't they resist?  This book answers some of those questions.  Some of them did!!  We will be exploring what kind of people stand up against social injustices.  This book highlights those amazing resisters. 
I LOVED this book when I listened to it on audio not too long ago.  I'm so pleased that the kids who chose to read this book are devouring it and telling me how good it is. 
This book fascinated me when I first read it.  Discrimination was alive and well in the military, but these men dared to show their courage and abilities during World War II.  Another wonderful book by Tanya Lee Stone that shows injustices, this time against women, is Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared To Dream.
What are some nonfiction books you direct your students toward when thinking about social injustices?


  1. I'm just finishing Revolution, Holly. The books you've chosen are so good. I loved The Boy On The Wooden Box. You might look up the story of Miep Gies, one of those who bravely helped the Frank family when they were in hiding. I believe she just passed away a year or so ago. The book about her is wonderful. Thanks for sharing all these!

  2. I have all of these books save for the last - and that one looks amazing. It would be a wonderful addition to my classroom library. Thanks, Holly.

  3. I am fascinated by the story of Malala. My sixth graders are all boys. Do you think they would like it? These choices are great, but I don't have any of them. There are always so many good books to add to my library.

    1. I didn't realize all your 6th graders were boys. Interesting! I DO think they would like it. She embodies courage, and that transcends gender!

  4. That's great that your students have the stamina to stay with some of these longer nonfiction books! I'm sure they are learning so much new information!

  5. I loved The Boy on the Wooden Box! I have been wanting to read I Am Malala for a while now. Such a powerful story!

  6. I need to read I Am Malala. She is probably the most inspiring young lady I've ever learned about. I need to learn more about her.
    I tried to listen to Courage Has No Color, but the audio book just didn't work for me. I need to get the book, so I can read it.
    I've never heard of The Boy on the Wooden Box--thank you for sharing it with me.

  7. Most of this gorgeous books would have been a perfect fit for our previous reading theme on war and poetry. Would love to read the biography of Malala someday, such a courageous young woman.