The Global Reading Network’s Non-fiction Interest Group seeks to empower individuals and organizations to develop and publish high quality non-fiction (also known as informational text) for children in developing contexts, and to share best practices in non-fiction literacy instruction.
Incorporating appropriate non-fiction in early childhood and primary literacy is critical for developing students’ background knowledge and vocabulary, increasing familiarity with academic language patterns, and motivating readers by capitalizing on children’s natural curiosity about the world, according to group co-founders Christabel Pinto of Room to Read and Emily Miksic of FHI 360. Quality non-fiction texts are engaging and appealing, and some children may find their way to reading more easily through non-fiction than through fiction. To date, EGR projects have done well at establishing processes to develop fiction in rapid and scalable ways, and we are challenged to do the same for non-fiction while simultaneously ensuring a high level of quality.
The Non-fiction Interest Group works to discuss current research, share best practices and example texts, and generate innovative ideas for text development. The group’s goals include identifying and developing guidance tools to improve the quality, variety and relevance of children’s non-fiction books. The group also aims to raise awareness of the importance of non-fiction in early grade reading, to support knowledge of how to use non-fiction in early literacy instruction, and to serve as a forum for networking.
Since its inception, the group has organized a series of successful presentations focusing on various aspects of non-fiction: