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Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8 Paperback – January 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-1571100726 ISBN-10: 1571100725

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Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3-8 + Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571100725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571100726
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

When we open the gates to nonfiction inquiry, we open our thinking and expect the unexpected, making reading discoveries, research discoveries, and writing discoveries on our way. Nonfiction Matters offers teachers the tools to help students explore nonfiction and dig deep to reach more complete understanding of the real world and report these insights in a compelling manner.

Stephanie Harvey shows how students can read expository text, engage in research, and write authentic nonfiction that is captivating, visual, and full of voice. The inquiry projects she describes require in-depth learning: topic selection, question development, research exploration, reading for content, organization, synthesis, writing to convey meaning, and presenting findings - all skills that develop independent thinkers who know how to make decisions, solve problems, and apply their knowledge insightfully.

Full of practical suggestions to help you bring nonfiction into your curriculum, Nonfiction Matters:

- presents strategies for understanding expository text and conducting meaningful research;
- offers ideas for organizing and writing accurate, effective nonfiction from idea to finished presentation;
- advances the importance of teacher modeling and guided practice in instructional delivery;
- provides a list of inquiry tools and resources-both print and electronic;
- suggests ways to facilitate project-based learning and assess the projects as they develop;
- includes bibliographies of nonfiction children's books by subject and genre and lists of recommended magazines.

Why is nonfiction almost a guaranteed success? The key to teaching with nonfiction is passion, for children are passionate inquirers, and nonfiction fuels their curiosity and their demand for knowledge and understanding of the world.

About the Author

Stephanie Harvey has spent her career teaching and learning about reading and writing, as an elementary and special education teacher and now as a private consultant and a staff developer for the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition. She works with teachers in inner-city, suburban, and rural settings, conducting demonstration lessons, leading workshops, facilitating study groups, teaching courses, and coordinating literacy projects. Stephanie lives with her family in Denver, and whenever there's time, she heads for the hills to ski that Colorado powder.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This book gives practical tips in improving reading comprehension.
CDMassett
I recommend this book to any teacher who is willing to take the challenge and transform her / his classroom into what every classroom in the world should be.
Aleida B Esparza
Nonfiction Matters by Stephanie Harvey is a great resource for any teacher with a low self efficacy about teaching writing.
R. Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a "must have" for all elementary, middle, and high school language arts teachers. It is an easy-to-read, practical guide for teaching expository writing. I continually use this as a resource in planning my writing instruction. Students are highly motivated by Harvey's approach. Be sure to add this to your professional library!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Anne Y. Jensen on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I was in school, we were told to write papers, but were never really taught *how* to develop one. We were told *what* to do -- make an outline, write the paper, and revise it -- but that didn't help me figure out *how* to do any of these things.
Now my daughter is in third grade and I'm trying to help her learn how to write. Our first use of the book helped us capture and explore what she learned on a museum trip. I was really impressed with the resulting report. It was focused, full of real content, and had a delightful narrative style. We even used wondering questions to help us focus further inquiry.
This book is a must-have for anyone interested in life-long learning.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Sheriff on February 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Every middle-grade teacher should own this book! It is such a relief to find a book by an author who clearly knows how to engage students in authentic, "real world" material. Not only is this book enjoyable to read, but it actually shows you how to jump in and make nonfiction reading work for your students--or your children--wherever they may be on the ability spectrum.

I think it can be difficult to teach things which we intuitively do well, and many teachers are good readers. This book is marvelous, because it refuses to advocate a painful, repetitive break-down of dull practice skills. Instead, it shows teachers and parents how to explicitly address skills within a meaningful context. That is so critical! For example, the book talks about readers making connections, and recognizing types of connections, including text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world. Making connections is not a new idea for reading teachers, but these categories are great for making non-fiction accessible.

The ideas and strategies in the book are motivating and inspiring, if overwhelming. The author's journey is really that of a continuing learner, and it was so valuable to me to read about her overflowing ideas and philosophies and strategies, as well as the way she handled roadblocks with colleagues and students.

I love that this author has the courage to present teaching as a "messy" art and science. It doesn't pretend there is one right answer or one right method or one right kind of student or teacher. It recognizes the complexity of so many variables coming together--ability, interest, personality--and acknowledges and addresses these variables, instead of pretending they don't exist.

This is a book for thinking, reflective teachers, and it's good.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Quail covey mom on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book provides research and practice on using non-fiction sources for authentic literary products. The traditional research project is reshaped into a meaningful, student-centered outcome. I've also attended Harvey's conference in conjunction with the book and recommend her book, and any other works that she creates, as useful and invigorating for all subject/level teachers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Aleida B Esparza on April 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nonfiction Matters by Stephanie Harvey is a great book that not only gives teachers great ideas on how to teach nonfiction writing, but also on how to learn along with the students by inquiring about real things in life anyone of them might have an interest in.
I recommend this book to any teacher who is willing to take the challenge and transform her / his classroom into what every classroom in the world should be. Teachers will find new incentives to motivate their students along with simple economic ideas that will get their students writing passionate, interesting nonfiction papers everyone will want to read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CDMassett on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives practical tips in improving reading comprehension. The author illustrates, through examples, how to accomplish successful learning techniques and strategies throughout the book. Ms Harvey visited our school and after reading this text and seeing her in action within the classroom, she truly writes about what works. The text is easy to read and to impliment for the classroom teacher. The subject of reading can be utilized in every content area.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an outstanding resource for teachers to use with their students of any age. Ms. Harvey gives clear and easy examples to impliment within one's classroom. The techniques she reveiws and demonstrates in her book are applicable for any content area. The book is easy to read and Stephanie Harvey shares insightful findings and practices.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary R. Dieffenderfer on October 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think back to the reports you wrote in school. If you were like me, you went to the encyclopedia plus a book or two, copied down the information, then put it in your own words. Reports were an exercise in recopying, demanding little creativity and thought. Stephanie Harvey hopes to change the way students are taught writing. Her book will give you the tools you will need to guide your students through the writing process from selecting a topic through the final presentation. She wants teachers to honor their student's passions, letting them chose a topic that is interesting to them. Stephanie shares great ideas such as the nonfiction writer's notebook which will help your students practice observing the world around them and collect topics they may wish to further pursue. She believes that all true research begins with asking good questions, ones which will motivate the students to dig deeper into their research topics, resulting in a paper that reflects the writers voice and passions and that is interesting to read. I would highly recommend Nonfiction Matters to all who teach language arts from third grade through high school.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Stephanie Harvey has spent the past thirty five years teaching and learning about reading and writing as an elementary teacher, special ed teacher and staff developer. She currently serves as a literacy consultant to schools and districts throughout the country. Her books include Strategies That Work, Comprehension and Collaboration, and Nonfiction Matters. Additionally, she creates videos and curricular resources for teachers and kids in grades K-12. Insatiably curious about children's thinking, Steph is a teacher first and foremost and works in schools on a regular basis savoring any time spent with kids. She has two grown children and lives in Denver with her husband, escaping to the high country whenever possible to breathe that fresh mountain air.