Literature Genres: Nonfiction Reading for Children

Literature Genres Non-Fiction Reading for ChildrenParents and children alike often avoid choosing nonfiction books to read.  They are seen as boring and uninteresting.  But not all nonfiction books are boring!  The key is finding a subject that your child is interested in and reading books about that subject.  Does your child like to play outside?  Then find books about plants or animals.  Does your child like to use cars and trucks?  Choose books about types of cars and trucks.  No matter what your child is interested in, you can find nonfiction books about that subject.

Characteristics of Nonfiction Reading for Children

A nonfiction book is any book that gives information about a particular subject.  While the subjects vary from book to book, some of the features of nonfiction books remain the same.  Be sure to point out these features to your child as you read through the book.  This allows them to see that information can be given in many ways, not just paragraphs.

  • Pictures and captions – A caption is the writing underneath the picture that tells what the picture is about.
  • Charts and graphs – These features give information in the form of a picture making them very interesting to children especially.
  • Diagrams – Diagrams picture for a child how something works instead of just explaining the process.
  • Glossary – The glossary, located at the back of the book, defines words that are used in the book.  Help your child to look up the meaning of words he does not know while he is reading.

Nonfiction Books for Children

  • National Geographic Kids – National Geographic has produced an entire collection of children’s books on many different subjects.  The books are written for young readers with many pictures and fact boxes on each page.
  • What Was …? – Penguin Books has written a series about important historical events in this series of books.  The books give facts and pictures about the events.
  • Magic Tree House Fact Tracker – If your child likes the Magic Tree House books, then they will probably enjoy the fact trackers.  Based on places the children visit in the series, the fact tracker books give more information and pictures about the historical event or place.

Children will learn so much from nonfiction books if they are encouraged to read them.  Pick books about subjects they like.  Or take them to the library and let them wander around the nonfiction section.  Don’t discourage them from picking out books that you think they may not like.  You never know what may strike their interest!

What nonfiction books do your children enjoy reading?

Elementary Reading Curriculum at Smart Tutor

Photo by Bradley Hague

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