KINDERGARTNERS: INFORMATIONAL TEXTS

Informational text is a specific kind of nonfiction text that provides information about the natural or social world. It does not have a beginning-middle-end format, and thus does not follow a narrative structure. Here are some awesome articles about the importance of informational text:

 

In classrooms today, students are reading a lot more informational text, thus it is super important as parents to provide exposure to it at home. Informational text is important because:

  • It provides background information on a myriad of topics, and this background information helps kids understand all types of text. For instance, if a five-year old knows about amphibians, he is more likely to understand Frog and Toad.

  • It provides important, technical vocabulary.

  • Kids do not get enough exposure to informational text in early childhood classrooms. Take a look at this 2006 study for evidence.

  • For some children (particularly boys!), informational text is highly engaging.

 

However, research also shows that most parents don't read informational text as bedtime stories. In fact, this research study showed that only 7% of home read alouds were informational text. My message to you is to read informational text at home! Incorporate it naturally around what is happening to your child and in your world. Here are some ideas:

  • Stuck at home on a snow day? Read aloud from informational text about snowplows (Yes, there are a lot of book about snowplows. I know this from a particularly snowy winter with my four-year old).

  • Going on a trip to the zoo? Go to the library first, and check out an informational book about your child's favorite animals.

  • Going on vacation to a different state? Most libraries have informational text about each state.

  • Seize on any question that your child asks as an opportunity to introduce informational text. So, if your child asks, "Why does the moon follow me at night?", "How do fingernails grow?", or "Where does the water go when we flush the toilet?", answer, "Let's go look it up in a book!

 

Here are some great tips on reading aloud from informational text at home. Another key note about using informational text: It does not have to be read start to end. Allow your child to flip through the pages, and read aloud the pages that look most interesting to him/her.

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Dr. Molly Ness, LLC
molly@drmollyness.com
Rye, NY 10580