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May 5th, 2022
Using non-fiction books in the classroom

Interesting and engaging non-fiction books are a fantastic way to get children enthusiastic about reading and learning. With books across a range of topics, from foreign language learning to spotting fake news, we at b small have a little something for everyone. This year we released one of our most exciting works to date: Luogo comune’s the Big Book of Boats. Filled with beautiful felt-tip illustrations, and facts about a boat’s anatomy as well as the history of different kinds of marine travel, the Big Book of Boats is versatile for home learning, or any classroom. Here are some ideas on how you can use non-fiction books in your classroom – taking this book as an example!

Teaching aids for multiple subjects

When considering how to use a non-fiction book in the primary classroom, you’ll probably discover that the book you choose can tie into many different subjects. In the Big Book of Boats, the large and accessible font makes the book perfect for teaching literacy. A history lesson is so easily planned around the famous ships littered across the pages, like the Titanic, or the ancient warships of Japan. Geography is a breeze as you float amongst a whole host of countries and cultures. Diagrams of different fish can be found throughout, of great use to any stemming biologists. Lastly, for our physicists, the book can be used to explain the simple physics of buoyancy. It is an information-rich book, ready for whatever use you might require, filled with beautiful illustrations to top it all off. 

Take-home projects

Could you use a non-fiction book as a basis for a take-home project? Think outside the box for ideas. For example, for this book, you could ask your students to make a boat out of recyclable objects they have at home, or ask them to choose their favourite boat in the book and find out some more about it.  

Activity sheets

Many publishers will make supplementary activity sheets to go alongside their non-fiction books to aid in learning. If you can’t find one on their website, just ask! For the Big Book of Boats, we came up with the following resources: a colouring sheet, if you’re stuck for an activity in art class; a Big Book of Boats quiz, to test comprehension of the text; and if the information in the book wasn’t enough, we have even more boat facts in our More About Boats resource

We hope these ideas help you use more non-fiction books in the classroom! 

Written by Emily Wigham

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