We love non-fiction, and are really proud to showcase the Oxford Reading Tree’s InFact series of titles in our bookshop. Providing a wide range of texts for children to engage in is so crucial in developing an avid reader, and is supported wholeheartedly by the National Curriculum.
So why is this genre so important?
A good place to begin looking here is at the notion of comprehension. As we mentioned in our previous blog, a child’s reading ability is assessed with two elements: their understanding of the word phonetically, and their understanding of what the word really means.
This second layer of understanding- the comprehension- requires a wider depth of understanding of the context of the word itself. This can be on a social, historical, and even emotional level.
Non-fiction texts can teach a child about the world around them, and can deal with so many varied subjects and experiences. By encouraging a child to engage with these themes, you are encouraging them to engage with ideas on a wider scale.
In doing so they will be able to make much more sense (comprehension) of the other fictional texts they encounter at school, enriching their knowledge across many subjects.
As educators across the field agree students should be encouraged to read informational texts in all subjects from an early age.
Adjoined to a child’s comprehension is their vocabulary. Non-fiction texts will introduce new language that may not be found elsewhere. This will widen their knowledge and reading ability extensively.
A simplistic example of this is as follows: a child is unlikely to learn words such as ‘carnivore’ or ‘omnivore’ unless they were specifically reading a text on food chains.
Fictional texts will often overlook these longer, more complex words, sentences or topics to address the needs of a storyline or plot.
3. Topic is key
Many children are reluctant to read, and sometimes even getting them to open a book feels like a victory!
The everyday struggles of getting a reluctant child to read are experienced by many parents. This can be made even worse with the expectations and targets of the National Curriculum.
In many cases the reluctancy is due to the child finding a text ‘boring’, and this can be especially true, as studies suggest, for boys.
Non-fiction can really make a difference here due to the huge scope of subjects that the genre offers.
When the real motive behind reading is enjoyment, then producing enthusiasm is key- if you can reach out to a child’s interests then you can create enthusiasm. A child who loves football for instance, will potentially engage further with a non-fiction text covering this sport than a traditional novel.
At the Listening Bookshop this is always our main objective! We want kids to enjoy reading and truly believe that variety is key.
We are sure excited to hear what you guys think of the OUP InFact series we have stocked, there are so many subjects included and we would love to have any feedback!
What is your favourite non-fiction book? Perhaps you have a favourite topic that you just can’t get enough of? Get in touch and let us know!