Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Our Non-Fiction Picture Book Project Explained

Non-Fiction Picture Book Assignment

Purpose:  To create a non-fiction picture book aimed at a 2nd-3rd grade audience.

Assignment:  Students will create a non-fiction picture book on a topic of their choice aimed at a 2nd-3rd grade audience.  Further expectations are discussed below.  

Due:  December 22nd, 2015.

Final Product:  All finished books will be created in Google Presentations for more creative flexibility.  These will be submitted via Google Classroom and then shared with 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms around the world for additional feedback.


  • Finished product should be a 15 to 20 page book that not only includes 4-5 or so "chapters/sub-topics" but also has a glossary, table of contents, sources, and front and back cover.
  • Font size of text should be at least 20.
  • Students will use at least one print research material and supplement with reliable internet sources.
  • We will use the website to cite all of our sources which will be done in conjunction with Jeri in tech tools.  She will assess that portion of the project.
  • We will spend time in class researching, writing, as well as sharing our work.  Students should be able to finish this in class if time is spent wisely.  

Sample:  Will be shown in class and linked to here.

  • Graphic organizers and templates can be provided for those who need to follow a format.  To access them, please go to this Google presentation and make a copy as needed.
Mini-Lesson Materials:
Every day, we will focus on a mini-lesson meant to bolster the skills and needs of the students.  The following mini-lessons will be taught (in order):
  1. Exploring NF picture books; what are their text features and why are they important?  Template for this discovery can be found in Google classroom and here.
  2. What do you want to teach the world?  Narrowing down topic and finding research materials.  Brainstorming research questions to guide their reading.  
  3. Who is your audience?  What do we know about 2nd and 3rd graders?  Preparing for our market research Skype call.
  4. Skype call to classrooms and then research time.
  5. Taking 3 column notes in notebook or Google docs.  Example template can be found here.
  6. Taking notes on notecards.
  7. Using Diigo as a way to take notes (refresher from Tech tools).
  8. Unscrambling a paragraph - parts of a paragraph  (example taken from here)
  9. Fill in the main idea and conclusion - found here
  10. Informal to formal paragraph - found here Alternate is writing a sample paragraph
  11. Teach to your partner, checklist can be found here
  12. Table of contents - what does it do, what does it need?
  13. Glossary - what does it do, what does it need?
  14. Self-assessment, peer edit if they want to and review, checklist can be found here
  15. Turn in (December 22nd).

Standards Assessed:

ELA 3:
Write informative texts to convey ideas; select, organize, and analyze content; summarize

ELA 5:
Draw evidence from texts to support written analysis.
ELA 6:
Command the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and vocabulary.


Unknown said...

We are doing an adaptation of your idea with my 3rd graders and I was wondering if you used any specific form or format when asking them to peer review in small groups? With such young kids, I am really wondering how to help facilitate the discovery of strengths and areas for improvement without doing the work for them. Trying to talk less and release responsibility, but it's hard! Thank you for the wonderful idea. The kids are learning so much and showing what they know in a fun, collaborative way.

Pernille Ripp said...

The only lens we used was that they needed to be specific in their peer review request. They were not allowed to ask "Is this good?" but instead had to have a direct purpose for what they were doing and looking for.

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