Monday, May 7, 2012

NonFiction Monday -- Picture Games

The latest box of books from Capstone Press arrived on my porch today. It’s always fun to see what they’ve sent me. This time I found two fun books of guessing games, so I thought I’d talk about both of them. Although they are both A+ series books, they aim at two different reading levels.
Alike or Not Alike, a Photo Sorting Game by Kristen MCCury from the Eye Look Picture Games series is an easy reader that kindergarteners and first graders can decipher themselves and also can be used with preschoolers.

The reader first sees four things. The name of each object lies right below its photograph. However, these objects are not in their natural habitat. (for example, the hammer is not on a workbench or in a toolbox.  It is just a cut-out picture of a hammer.) The reader (or storyteller) must turn the page to discover which one of the four things do not belong in the group.  This makes a good setup for a fun quiz with the children and has the advantage of instant satisfaction of finding the answer on the verso. There are very few sentences in the book – just the words Which is not alike? to introduce the set and one or two sentences to describe the object that is different on the verso.

Alike or Not Alike can be used one-on-one as a lap book, by a storyteller with a large group, or read by a first reader. 

Whose Home is This? By Julie Murphy from the Nature Starts series can be enjoyed by first and second graders, as well as introduced to preschoolers.  The sentences are longer and there are more on the page.  As you look at a double page spread, the picture on the left is of an animal or insect’s home. On the right are four photographs of possible inhabitants of this home, pictured in their native habitat. The text introduces each animal with a tidbit of information.

Now guess which animal lives in that home. Is the answer on the next page?  No.  The reader must turn to the back of the book to find the answer. AND, they have to know what page they were on because each photograph answer has that page number below it.

Back matter in both books includes other similar books plus the address of the facthound website, a safe site for elementary students to explore. Whose Home is This? Also includes a glossary.

For more interesting nonfiction for kids, click on over to Nonfiction Monday which is being held at The Swimmer Writer blog today.

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