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Are 50% of Your Book Talks Nonfiction?

Theres’s a lot of evidence many of our students are more likely to actively read if they have the nonfiction titles to choose from in the classroom library. With a SIMPLE TEASER, you can ignite students’ interest!

Below I’ve included recommendations and “teaser tips” for high quality, well-known books you can probably find in your school or public library. I’d check out sets of titles by these authors because your students may want to read more than one!!! (For newer titles, follow me on Instagram @sunday.cummins.)

Recommendations & Teaser Tips for Grades 2-5

BOOKS BY NIC BISHOP – Just raise your eyebrows!

Nic Bishop takes his own photographs and writes enthralling texts about each creature.

TEASER TIP: (You don’t even have to say anything.) Hold the book(s) up and raise your eyebrows at the students. Silently turn the pages and let the students view. They are sure to be awed!

BOOKS BY STEVE JENKINS & ROBIN PAGE – Just read aloud a page!

Steve Jenkins & Robin Page‘s work is always filled with fascinating facts and eye-popping art.

TEASER TIP: For the title sisters & brothers, share the page on the whiptail lizard and read aloud a bit – “New Mexico whiptail lizards have only sisters. There are no brothers, because there are no male whiptails.” Students are sure to gasp and want to read more! (This duo’s books are always filled with interesting facts so you could give a similar teaser with a page from any of their titles.)

BOOKS BY THE HATKOFF FAMILY – Share a photo and read aloud until you reveal the problem!

The Hatkoff clan has written several harrowing stories about animals in trouble.

TEASER TIP: In Looking for Miza, there’s a beautiful up-close picture of Miza on the first page of the text to share with students while you read aloud the first page. The second paragraph of the text presents the problem – the baby mountain gorilla Miza is missing. The last sentence in this paragraph (and on this page) states, “However, Innocent and Diddy (park rangers) were not the only one looking for Miza.” You could stop right there and leave the students hanging!

BOOKS BY STACY MCANULTY – Read aloud the first page to meet the host!

Stacy McAnulty‘s writing is kid-friendly and informative. There are several books in this series.

TEASER TIP: For any of McAnulty’s titles in this series, just read aloud the first page and students will want to read more!

Teasers for Grades 4-8

BOOKS BY GEORGIA BRAGG – Ask “Did you know…?” questions!

Written in a humorous tone, both of these books by Georgia Bragg reveal the crazy way historical figures have died as well as the dark sides of medical treatments before the modern day. Kids will be fascinated and a little grossed out.

TEASER TIP: Say the following – Did you know Cleopatra poisoned herself with a hairpin? Did you know that when Napoleon was sick, his doctors tried to cure him by smothering his body in wax and animal fat? Did you know that Marie Curie’s fingertips were blackened, cracking and oozing from handling test tubes with radium?

BOOKS BY DEBORAH HOPKINSON – Read aloud the table of contents!

Deborah Hopkinson writes riveting accounts of major historical events.

TEASER TIP: For Voices from the Disaster, with your eyes getting wider and wider and your smile turning into utter dismay, just read the table of contents to draw students interest: Chapter One: Setting Sail, Chapter Two: A Floating Palace, Chapter Three: A Peaceful Sunday, Chapter Four: “Iceberg right ahead!”, Chapter Five: Impact!…, Chapter Eleven: “She’s gone” ….

BOOKS BY NEAL BASCOMB – Read aloud the prologue with your mysterious voice!

Neal Bascomb is another go-to author for nail-biting accounts of historical events.

TEASER TIP: In The Nazi Hunters, with one eyebrow raised and your “voice of mystery,” read the prologue which quickly sets the tone of mystery and adventure.

BOOKS BY PATRICIA NEWMAN – Share the cover and read aloud the inside flap!

Patricia Newman has won several awards for her books.

TEASER TIP: Just share the cover and read aloud from the inside front flap!

Okay…there are lots of really good nonfiction books out there (besides those about animals and those of historical accounts ;). Book talking is easy – read a page, show a picture, raise your eyebrows, and have fun as you leave kids hanging and wanting to read more!

Hope this helps.


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