A Place for Wonder

Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades

In A Place for Wonder, Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough discuss how to create "a landscape of wonder," a primary classroom where curiosity, creativity, and exploration are encouraged. For it's these characteristics, the authors write, that develop intelligent, inquiring, life-long learners.

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Georgia and Jennifer's research shows that many primary-grade state standards encourage teaching for understanding, critical thinking, creativity, and question asking, and promote the development of children who have the attributes of inventiveness, curiosity, engagement, imagination, and creativity. With these goals in mind, the authors provide teachers with numerous, practical ways—setting up "wonder centers," gathering data through senses, teaching nonfiction craft—they can create a classroom environment where students' questions and observations are part of daily work.

They also present a step-by-step guide to planning a nonfiction reading and writing unit of study—creating a nonfiction book, which includes creating a table of contents, writing-focused chapters, using "wow" words, and developing a point of view. A Place for Wonder will help teachers reclaim their classrooms as a place where true learning is the norm.

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About the Author(s)

Georgia Heard is a nationally and internationally known leader in the field of teaching writing. She was one of the first staff developers at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York, and for the past twenty-five years has visited schools and spoken at conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia.

Jen McDonough is the K–4 Literacy Specialist at the Pine School in Hobe Sound, Florida. Prior to taking on a role outside of her own classroom, she was a first-grade teacher and literacy coach at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. She has taught students for 23 years and has been a part of literacy training for teachers for more than six years.


Table of Contents

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  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Creating a Wonder World: Centers, Projects, and Clubs
  • Chapter 2: Nonfiction Writing from the Heart
  • Chapter 3: Nonfiction Research Wonder Writing
  • Appendix
  • Resources
  • Bibliography

Product Details

Grades: K, 1, 2
Media: 192 pp/paper
Year: 2008
Item No: 0432
ISBN: 978-157110-432-8