Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
August 13, 2018

10 Best-Selling Nonfiction Books to Inspire Lesson Planning

By The Scholastic.com Editors
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Having a diverse selection of nonfiction books in your classroom library is a great way for students to build a wealth of knowledge during independent reading. But these same books are also a wonderful resource for teachers to tap when they want to develop lessons that will empower and engage their students throughout the school year. By drawing inspiration from nonfiction books, you’ll find that introducing key concepts in your lessons will feel more natural and that your lessons will resonate with students more deeply.

    If you’re looking for the perfect nonfiction book to kick off a science, math, or social studies lesson, or even a writing workshop focused on memoirs, check out these 10 popular titles teachers just like you choose for their classroom library.

    Early Elementary

    Spiders (Grades K-1)

    Spiders make their homes everywhere and are a source of fascination for kids. With easy-to-understand text, amazing photography, and simple science vocabulary, you can use this book to introduce a science lesson about arachnids or to develop students’ informational writing skills.

    Flutter, Butterfly! (Grades PreK-2)

    If you’re introducing students to the life cycle of a butterfly, this book for young readers is filled with informative facts they should know. Pair it with a butterfly life cycle craft to give kids a chance to show off what they’ve learned.

     

    Amazing Tigers! (Grade 2)

    This book gives your students a glimpse into the wild
    world of tigers as it discusses their physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, life cycle, endangered status, and other incredible facts students can use to hone their research skills.

    Heroes for All Times (Grades 2-5)

    With up-to-date information, photos, and illustrations about Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., and more famous figures, this book makes an excellent introduction to a social studies lesson. Read it with its’ Magic Tree House fiction companion for your text pairing needs.

    Dolphins (Grades 1-3)

    Your students can investigate all the features of a nonfiction books—title page, table of contents, index, and picture glossary—as they learn fun facts about dolphins.

     

     

    Swing, Sloth! (Grades PreK-1)

    This book for beginning readers helps build skills through sight words and picture icons. It’s also a wonderful way to begin teaching your students about the rainforest and its inhabitants.

     

    Look & Learn: Count! (Grades PreK-2)

    Practicing counting skills in your classroom? This National Geographic book helps students in grades PreK-2 sharpen their number recognition skills through observational learning.

     

    Middle and High School

    I Am Malala (Grades 8-12)

    Malala’s powerful memoir of her fight for women’s right to education shows students that anyone can create change in their community. It’s also a great book to open a writing unit devoted to memoirs and biographies.

    Chasing Lincoln's Killer (Grades 8-12)

    If you’re teaching a unit on the Civil War and Reconstruction, or looking for an engaging way to discuss primary and secondary research, this thrilling account of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth incorporates research from rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters.

    Promises to Keep (Grades 6-8)

    This book, lovingly written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter, gives students, especially those who are fans of baseball, a closer look at a dedicated civil rights activist through personal letters and photos from the Robinson family archives.

     

    Feeling inspired? Now it’s time to translate and organize all your ideas into a structured lesson plan that meets your curriculum requirements. This in-depth sample lesson plan on mythology, adapted from The New Teacher's Complete Sourcebook: Middle School  by Paula Naegle, outlines everything you need to know to create an effective lesson for your students.

    Having a diverse selection of nonfiction books in your classroom library is a great way for students to build a wealth of knowledge during independent reading. But these same books are also a wonderful resource for teachers to tap when they want to develop lessons that will empower and engage their students throughout the school year. By drawing inspiration from nonfiction books, you’ll find that introducing key concepts in your lessons will feel more natural and that your lessons will resonate with students more deeply.

    If you’re looking for the perfect nonfiction book to kick off a science, math, or social studies lesson, or even a writing workshop focused on memoirs, check out these 10 popular titles teachers just like you choose for their classroom library.

    Early Elementary

    Spiders (Grades K-1)

    Spiders make their homes everywhere and are a source of fascination for kids. With easy-to-understand text, amazing photography, and simple science vocabulary, you can use this book to introduce a science lesson about arachnids or to develop students’ informational writing skills.

    Flutter, Butterfly! (Grades PreK-2)

    If you’re introducing students to the life cycle of a butterfly, this book for young readers is filled with informative facts they should know. Pair it with a butterfly life cycle craft to give kids a chance to show off what they’ve learned.

     

    Amazing Tigers! (Grade 2)

    This book gives your students a glimpse into the wild
    world of tigers as it discusses their physical characteristics, behavior, habitat, life cycle, endangered status, and other incredible facts students can use to hone their research skills.

    Heroes for All Times (Grades 2-5)

    With up-to-date information, photos, and illustrations about Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., and more famous figures, this book makes an excellent introduction to a social studies lesson. Read it with its’ Magic Tree House fiction companion for your text pairing needs.

    Dolphins (Grades 1-3)

    Your students can investigate all the features of a nonfiction books—title page, table of contents, index, and picture glossary—as they learn fun facts about dolphins.

     

     

    Swing, Sloth! (Grades PreK-1)

    This book for beginning readers helps build skills through sight words and picture icons. It’s also a wonderful way to begin teaching your students about the rainforest and its inhabitants.

     

    Look & Learn: Count! (Grades PreK-2)

    Practicing counting skills in your classroom? This National Geographic book helps students in grades PreK-2 sharpen their number recognition skills through observational learning.

     

    Middle and High School

    I Am Malala (Grades 8-12)

    Malala’s powerful memoir of her fight for women’s right to education shows students that anyone can create change in their community. It’s also a great book to open a writing unit devoted to memoirs and biographies.

    Chasing Lincoln's Killer (Grades 8-12)

    If you’re teaching a unit on the Civil War and Reconstruction, or looking for an engaging way to discuss primary and secondary research, this thrilling account of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth incorporates research from rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters.

    Promises to Keep (Grades 6-8)

    This book, lovingly written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter, gives students, especially those who are fans of baseball, a closer look at a dedicated civil rights activist through personal letters and photos from the Robinson family archives.

     

    Feeling inspired? Now it’s time to translate and organize all your ideas into a structured lesson plan that meets your curriculum requirements. This in-depth sample lesson plan on mythology, adapted from The New Teacher's Complete Sourcebook: Middle School  by Paula Naegle, outlines everything you need to know to create an effective lesson for your students.

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

The's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
Best of Blogs: Great Book Lists

Pick a grade, pick a topic, and indulge in this hand-picked collection of favorite books lists.

By Scholastic.com Editors
December 24, 2015
Blog Post
Best of Blogs: Classroom Management
Check out these sixteen takes on managing your classroom from time-saving transitions to capturing your students' hearts.
By Scholastic.com Editors
July 7, 2015
Blog Post
Best of Blogs: Teaching With Technology
Check out our collection of blog posts on using technology in the classroom. These include integrating eReaders and iPads, great Internet resources, tips on accessing videos, and more!
By Scholastic.com Editors
June 12, 2015

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us