You are writing a grant in order to purchase literature and nonfiction trade books for integration into your curriculum. Discuss 5 reasons that you could include in your rationale for needing additional trade books.
Trade books are informational, nonfiction, or story-format literature which is readily available and educates on a particular topic (Vacca, et al., 2015). Trade books should be included in every classroom library, as they are an excellent way to supplement and extend regular classroom instruction. Allow me to expound on this claim. First, trade books are especially appealing to and meaningful for male students (Kesler, 2012, “Learning About Literacy Through Books”). In an era where reading is often associated with being female (Trelease, 2009), having a selection of literature that grabs the interest of the boys in the classroom for its own merits is essential. Secondly, trade books cover specific subject material more comprehensively than textbooks (Vacca, et al., 2015). Trade books can be used as a supplement to textbooks, where students can be allowed to explore their interests or certain areas that they struggle to comprehend in greater depth (Vacca, et al., 2015). Thirdly, trade books offer a more authentic reading experience—reading trade books requires cognitive awareness and constant use of critical thinking and reasoning skills (Kesler, 2012, “Learning About Literacy…”). Trade books prepare students for real-life reading experiences. Whether they enter college or the workforce upon graduation, they will be required to read nonfiction articles, evaluate the opinions, and form conclusions. Stories and narratives can be pleasurable, but nonfiction must be read with more active mental processing, which is good for students to begin practicing at a young age. Fourthly, trade books can be used to incorporate students’ interests into the curriculum (Vacca, et al., 2015), and thus engage them even more fully in the learning process. Trade books cover specific dimensions within certain subject domains (Vacca, et al., 2015), and if one such dimension can be found that particularly appeals to certain students, that trade book will greatly enhance their interest in the subject overall. Lastly, trade books enhance students’ background knowledge and vocabulary within a subject (Vacca, et al., 2015). They can be used before and after covering certain instructional topics, both to build prior knowledge, as well as to gain more exposure to the terms and usages of the topic under study. Trade books are essential because they have inherent appeal for male students as well as female, they offer deeper explorations of subject matter, they foster active critical thinking, they connect students’ interests with the curriculum, and they prepare students for learning as well as extending that learning.
Kesler, M. (2012). Learning about literacy through books (Week 3 presentation from Instructional Practices for Reading Teachers). Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Online.
Trelease, J. (2009). Thirty DO’s to remember when reading aloud (Brochure). Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20130513145607/http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/read-aloud-brochure.pdf
Vacca, J. A., Vacca, R. T., Gove, M. K., Burkey, L. C., Lenhart, L. A., & McKeon, C. A. (2015). Reading & learning to read (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.