Book Buddies: Pairing Fiction and Informational Texts to Motivate Readers

One way to motivate readers is to provide children with informational texts that match a fiction book they may enjoy reading.  Or vice versa.  Mary Pope Osborne provides informational guides that correspond with her fiction books in her series of Magic Tree House Books (Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon), perfect for early readers.  At the preschool age, especially, we tend to read more fiction to our children.  Yet, children tend to crave basic information about topics as well.  I like to pair fiction reading with informational reading.  By reading aloud a fiction book and following up with an informational read aloud, parents can meet both needs of their child.  Sometimes, you may want to read the informational text first to build background knowledge of the topic.  To extend the learning beyond reading, I often pair a craft or activity that complements the topic we are reading about.

“Book Buddies” with corresponding activities:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

Activity:  Put plastic doll feet in black paint and place on white paper to make footprints in the snow

Smash! Crash! (Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown) by Jon Scieszka and Big Book of Trucks by Caroline Bingham

Activity: Take small toy trucks and run the wheels through paint.  Place the wheels all over a sheet of paper for a “Things that Go” piece of artwork.  Try to find cars and trucks with different treads.

My Garden by Kevin Henkes and Let’s Go Gardening: A Young Person’s Guide to the Garden by Ursula Kruger

Activity:  Place soil inside a large plastic, see through bag.  Place seeds in the soil and spray water inside the bag.  Tape the bag to a window that receives sun.  Monitor the new plant that grows.   

Would you like to purchase pre-made Book Buddy Bags?  Each bag comes with a fiction and nonfiction text, a hands-on activity and a resource guide for parents.  Book Buddy Bags are perfect for gifts, homeschool activities, and travel!

Do you have innovative ways to encourage kids (specifically reluctant readers) to read?  I would love to hear them!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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5 Responses to “Book Buddies: Pairing Fiction and Informational Texts to Motivate Readers”

  1. Melissa Stewart Says:

    Here are some great examples for upper-elementary readers:

    http://celebratescience.blogspot.com/2010/02/friday-fun-perfect-pair.html

    http://celebratescience.blogspot.com/2009/09/friday-fun-perfect-pair.html

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Little. Dawn Little said: Pairing Fiction and Informational Texts to Motivate Readers: http://wp.me/pI7J6-8Q […]

  3. Michelle Breum Says:

    I love the idea of pairing fiction and nonfiction books. Many reluctant readers prefer one or the other.

    I think finding the right level of book is very important. http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2010/02/find-book-levels.html

    Scholastic Book Wizard lets you search by topic and level.

    Scholastic also has author interviews and book trailers similar to movie trailers to spark an interest in a book.
    http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2010/04/find-and-use-video-introductions-before.html
    http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2010/03/children-love-books-even-more-when-they.html

    Reluctant readers will want to read more if they get better at reading. Here’s a link to my favorite books to help beginning readers get off to a good start. http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/2010/03/childrens-books-for-beginning-readers.html

    I like scholastic level 1 books. There are fiction and nonfiction with simple text.

  4. “My Book Buddy Bags” from Links to Literacy « "Read Me A Story" Book Reviews Says:

    […] Book Buddies: Pairing Fiction and Informational Texts to Motivate Readers […]

  5. Best of 2010: A Year in Review on Literacy Toolbox « Literacy Toolbox Says:

    […] Book Buddies: Pairing Fiction and Informational Text to Motivate Readers […]

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