Chapter 11: Learning with Trade Books
Stacie Snavely, Carissa Moser,
& Virginia Dobbins
Trade books can provide a
valuable complement to most
Trade books can provide
experiences & perspectives
that may be excluded in the
Trade books can help teachers
meet the range of reading
levels in their classrooms.
Trade books can help teachers
meet all reading levels in the
When students are given opportunities to interact with
quality trade books, they have a better chance of becoming
Trade books offer teachers a variety of genres, ranging from
easy-to-read titles to extremely sophisticated exploration of
Nonfiction trade books deepen student knowledge of real
people, places, and phenomena of the present and the past.
Picture books encompass
every genre and cover a
wide range of subjects.
Picture books can scaffold
student understanding of a
range of topics through
formats that intrigue rather
Picture books area a great resource for struggling readers and
English language learners.
Fiction books help readers to see the world through a
different lens, a skill that is necessary for personal and
societal change and development.
Fantasy and science fiction
books can serve as a
springboard for deeper
discussion about big ideas.
Realistic fiction books run the
gamut from problem realism,
to sport stories, to mysteries,
to adventure, to romance.
Historical fiction can put a human face on history in
ways textbooks can’t.
• Creating Classroom Libraries and Text Sets
• Self-Selected Reading
• Teacher Read-Aloud
• Group Models for Studying Trade Books
Enhance and extend students’ content area literacy
•CREATING CLASSROOM LIBRARIES
Content area teachers need to acquire books related to their content area.
A classroom library is a critical component of a multitext classroom.
These books can be used to stock classroom libraries, both for large-and
small-group reading and for individual inquiry.
By creating classroom library of books at a range of reading levels and in a
variety of genres including picture books, poetry, historical fiction, biography,
and informational books.
Teachers increase students’ access to books and help motivate them to learn.
Teachers should create text sets related to units of studies, difficultly levels,
and include an range of resources.
Organized, systematic efforts to make independent
reading central in the lives of students are essential.
In todays world of standardized test-driven culture, we
forget the importance of independent reading.
Effective sustained silent reading benefits:
• They increase the amount of time students spend
reading during the school day.
• They help students develop interest in a subject.
• They build knowledge that helps students read
and learn more about a topic.
• They provide a basis for researching a particular
• They familiarize students with different formats
used to report information that can be models for
their own research and writing.
Read-alouds can include books from a variety of
genres, including poetry, short stories, fictions,
nonfiction, magazine articles, or even plays.
• Hold students’ interest
• Stimulate discussion
• Reflect authors from many cultures
• Match the social and emotional levels of the
Read-alouds need not be cover to cover. Reading
excerpts from book, magazines, newspaper articles,
or web pages can sometimes be more effective than
•GROUP MODELS FOR STUDYING
Individual Inquiry Model
Common reading experience centered on the same
Students participate in large-and small-group
discussions about a variety of topics.
Students compare and contrast information in their
Students work in small groups to read different
books related to a common theme.
They share information from one another with the
larger group through creative extensions, including
projects dramatic presentations, and debates.
•INDIVIDUAL INQUIRY MODEL
• Individual inquiry is an increasingly popular method to
involve students in research by letting them explore issues
of personal interest.
• Students generate ideas and questions and pose
• Through their research projects, students investigate
topics, collect, analyze, and organize information.
• Students later present this information through a project
• This model can be used with fiction or nonfiction.
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