Nonfiction Reading in the Primary Grades

Monday, November 16 - Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Institute will be offered virtually through Zoom.

Grade: K-2
Hours: 11am-5pm Eastern Standard Time
Featuring: Amanda Hartman
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

One powerful way for students to grow a deeper understanding about the world is to read about it! This past spring taught us that students can and should be doing this through books as well as digital texts. This institute will energize your nonfiction reading units as you learn how to engage primary students in nonfiction reading and learning of new content all at once.

Adult nonfiction readers tend to take on topics of study and read as much as they can about those topics. However, students often read a nonfiction book on one topic, then another, then another. While students may practice nonfiction reading strategies this way, this type of reading does not support knowledge building or deepen vocabulary acquisition. That is why a part of this institute will provide you with practical tips for curating accessible text sets that include books, articles, video clips and photographs. Whether you choose to create text sets tied to your content-area studies or based on student interest, you’ll leave with the ability to set students up to read across topics in ways that will support reading growth and content-area knowledge.

Then, of course, you’ll hear how to support students as they read and learn across topics, whether it’s with you in school, or at home. You’ll teach students how to move past, ‘That’s cool!’ towards making sure their little sparks of thought add up to understanding. You’ll see how to ensure that students develop the parts-to-whole comprehension they so clearly need. The presenters will show you how to get kids thinking across texts, noticing what is the same and what’s different, and building on the knowledge they learn from one text to another to develop deeper understandings. You’ll learn ways to help kids talk, mark spots, sketch, act and jot in ways that help them to not only create knowledge, but hold onto knowledge, moving what they learn into long term memory.

One way that people build vocabulary is through texts. We know that it is important for students to be exposed to words multiple times, but also to learn the strategies necessary for independent vocabulary building. Part of this institute will involve helping you get students ready for the demands of more challenging vocabulary in nonfiction texts. Presenters will demonstrate ways to fold vocabulary instruction across minilessons, small groups, interactive read-aloud, and shared reading lessons. It’s critical students use these new words to talk about the things that they have learned, so you’ll hear how to help students keep track of the vocabulary they learn and then use it in ways that make these new words part of the language they speak when talking about specific topics.

As your students take on topics to study across units, it’ll be important to set students up to share their learning. We’ll share engaging, fresh, and authentic ways to help you students showcase all they’ve learned, both digitally and in person. From writing, presenting, making videos, to planning read alouds, you’ll leave with fresh visions for how your student can solidify new learning as they celebrate it.


$650/$600 NYC DOE


This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.