Many of the blogs I like to read have been participating in Facts First! Nonfiction Monday posts. I have enjoyed reading about new nonfiction books and decided to share one that I purchased at the AASL conference in Charlotte this month. Go Straight to the Source by Kristin Fontichiaro is part of the forthcoming 8-title series "Super Smart Information Strategies." Fontichiaro, a school library media specialist and Michigan colleague and friend, writes about using inquiry strategies to discover more about primary sources.
What I like about Go Straight to the Source is that it covers several types of primary sources (pictures, objects, and print), helps students learn what a primary source is, and provides hands-on activities and examples to guide readers through the process of using these resources in research. Each activity reminds students to ask questions and write about what they see, think, and wonder. This page, for example, demonstrates how a reader might ask questions about a primary source image.
Fontichiaro also explains how regular people are creating primary sources that tell stories about them each day. In one activity she challenges students to look at the objects an adult has in his or her pocket and/or purse in order to learn more about the person. She then continues the activity and explains how a student might learn about another through the objects in his/her backpack.
Unfamiliar words are highlighted throughout the text and there is a glossary to help with both pronounciation and definitions of these words. There is also an index which is helpful in locating information about specific types of primary sources throughout the book. Go Straight to the Source is written for an upper elementary audience, but I will probably use many of the activities in middle school as well, especially because many of my students have never investigated primary sources or worked closely with a librarian in the past.
Go Straight to the Source will be published in January 2010. Other titles in the series include Find Your Way Online, Team Up Online, Find the Right Site, Hit the Books, Write it Down, Put it All Together, and Make the Grade.
This week Facts First! Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Diane Chen at Practically Paradise.