Applying Martin’s big words

Martin's Big Words

With the advent of the Common Core I have worked tirelessly this year to reboot my nonfiction units from something that was once a simple overview of headings, captions, and text features to an integrated understanding and application of nonfiction texts. I feel often, however, that I have come up short, particularly in asking my […]

I thought this book was labelled NONfiction

LiarLiar

On the dust jacket for Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor’s Galápagos George, forthcoming from HarperCollins, I see the following statement: “This book meets the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts/Science and Technical Subjects.” You big fat liars: Galápagos George, whose virtues are indeed many, does NOT meet the CCSS Standards, because the CCSS […]

Time for a meltdown?

Core

If you’re free and in Boston Wednesday night, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion of the Common Core State Standards for Bookbuilders of Boston. Other panelists include Simmons GSLIS prof Amy Pattee and educational publishing consultant Steve Pekich; the program runs from 6:00-8:00PM at 501 Boylston Street in Copley Square. Bring ID to get […]

Today’s Picture Book Biographies: Back Matter Matters

borden_thejourney

Picture book biographies broke out of their formulaic cradle-to-grave structure in the late 1990s and began telling authentic stories with new verve. Fictionalized dialogue and made-up scenes gave way to well-researched, fact-based narratives, often focusing on a particular aspect of the subject’s life. Today’s picture book biographies also include, as a matter of course, supporting […]

Editorial: Common Core Ready?

commoncoresticker_300x293

As with previous educational missions (whole language, multiculturalism) and mandates (No Child Left Behind), the Common Core State Standards are causing a host of interested parties to each consider what its particular piece of the puzzle — 
and the pie — will be. Parents want to know what the CCSS will do for their children; […]

The Amorphous Genre

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

The Common Core State Standards mandate that, by fourth grade, students will read a balanced ratio of fifty percent fiction and fifty percent nonfiction for school reading assignments. As students age, this ratio gradually begins to favor nonfiction until, by twelfth grade, they will be expected to read seventy percent nonfiction and thirty percent fiction. […]

How to publish for the CCSS

Ha ha, not really. I hope everybody is getting some use out of our latest newsletter, Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. I’ve been thinking about NF a lot since ALA, where I spent two solid days talking to publishers about what they were planning for the coming year(s). Along with inflicting upon the world […]

Science and the Common Core

Danielle J. Ford

Both the new Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and the soon-to-be-released Next Generation Science Standards emphasize competencies in nonfiction literacies: the CCSS in its bold push for a central role for informational text in reading instruction, and the NGSS in its just-as-purposeful spotlight on the critical reading, writing, visual, and oral practices of […]

Common Ground

Common Core State Standards Logo

As a historian, author, and longtime advocate for nonfiction, there are many things I like about the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards: their focus on historiography and authorial point of view, their mission of training young people to be problem-solvers, their validation of nonfiction-lovers’ passion for the genre. In this inaugural issue of Nonfiction Notes […]

Will the Common Core open the door

atlantis

to the crazies? I worry that the Core’s laudable emphasis on teaching children how to evaluate information and arguments will inadvertently fuel the cry to “teach the controversy” about natural selection.   (Neat Neptune and other freethinking t-shirts can be found here.)