Why Non-Fiction Is Important To Reading and Learning
Dorit Sasson | Teaching.monster.com
Children learn by taking in pieces of information and categorizing them. They do this all through their schooling years. When they reach puberty they take this information, sort it, and think critically with it. They keep what they know, problem solve or create new ideas.
As a child grows, he or she adds to that warehouse of information. Sadly, many high school and college students do not have that strong solid informational knowledge base to do the work required of them in high school and college. Most college professors assume students know the information they need to summarize an article or understand unknown vocabulary words in context. From as early as possible, children need an ongoing diet of non-fiction reading material and all throughout their schooling years. Usborne Books are designed to provide information to the child in the way he or she learns it. Usborne books have large beautiful illustrations with small chunks of information around them. The illustrations and the factual text give the child the information in a straight forward, easy to understand way.
Studies show that children are not reading sufficiently, not comprehending what they read, and are not reading enough non-fiction. The only way to succeed with developing good reading habits and ensure comprehension is to read a lot.
What This Means For Teachers
Teachers need to expose students to a variety of motivating non-fiction texts that are challenging. There should be plenty of oral and reading activities to help close some of the reading gaps and especially for English language learners. In fact, teachers should aim for a balanced oral-reading approach. “The research suggests that the reason for the disparity between word-and text-level skills among language-minority students is oral proficiency. Well-developed oral proficiency in English is associated with English reading and writing skills for these students” (August and Shanahan 4).
Practice, Practice, Practice.
With lots of practice, children will learn to sound out words and retain what they read with lots of practice. Usborne non-fiction books are fun, engaging and informational. The large illustrations give clues to the text. Even a lower performing reader can understand what’s happening from an Usborne book. The pictures, located directly under or over the easy-to-understand text, help create an emotional response to the information. This response, whether it is happy, sad, or something else helps a child retain the information.