By Deborah Lock, Managing Editor for DKfindout!
Reading nonfiction sparks the interest of children of all ages. Subjects such as Animals, Space, Dinosaurs, History, and Earth have an ageless appeal. Children pick up a nonfiction book with a motivation to read to find out information. Therefore, a nonfiction reading programme can be levelled on reading ability rather than age, revisiting subjects at different levels as children develop their reading confidence, comprehension, and fluency.
Whatever the age and reading ability of your child, there are nonfiction DK Readers for him or her. DK Readers are books about children’s favourite subjects to inspire even the most reluctant reader to read to learn about their interests. With four levels, ranging from titles for children learning to read to those who are reading alone confidently, DK Readers support your child through the stages of reading development and help to build a lifelong love of reading.
The long-running, successful DK Readers programme, with over 250 titles, has been given a fresh new look, with new titles for the next generation of readers. The flowing, engaging narrative brings each subject to life with captivating details in manageable chapters to match reading ability. To develop nonfiction reading skills, there are additional pages that present facts in different ways, including diagrams, spotter guides, and timelines.
For children just starting to learn to read, Level 1 DK Readers are ideal. At this level, each simple sentence contains a fascinating fact about what the reader can see happening in the stunning photographs. The visual clues support the words used in the text, building the readers’ confidence and understanding. Readers can learn to read as they find out about the lives of sea otters and the features and behaviour of jungle animals. Adult support is very helpful for providing encouragement, discussing the details, and sounding out unfamiliar words.
As children begin to grow in confidence to read new words, Level 2 DK Readers become more suitable. At this level, the books are divided into manageable chapters for one reading session. Literacy experts encourage reading a little every day to an adult. Action-packed photographs bring to life the simple narrative, leading the reader to the text and motivating them to find out more. The new titles begin with the subjects of spaceships and rockets and wild baby animals, followed by dogs and bees.
When your young reader makes a breakthrough and begins to read alone, he or she will be ready for Level 3 DK Readers. Your child’s new reading fluency means that he or she can confidently read the slightly longer sentences. Full of facts and dramatic photographs, children will rapidly pick up vocabulary about the subject, such as motte-and-bailey, crenellations, and knights' tournaments. Absorbed in the information, they will be developing their reading skills without even realising. Although children mostly read silently at this level, they continue to gain much from reading aloud to an adult. This provides the opportunity to discuss what the text is about, to develop comprehension skills.
If your child is confidently reading longer chapter books alone, Level 4 DK Readers are the books for him or her. Each chapter explains a fascinating aspect of the subject in detail. In Big Fantastic Earth, this includes the formation of the Himalayan Mountains, the journey from source to mouth of the Nile River, and the natural processes that shaped the Grand Canyon. At the end of each chapter, facts are presented in a range of different writing styles that broaden your child’s reading experience, encouraging him or her to go on to read newspapers, review articles, and instructions. Providing opportunities for your child to read to a variety of eager listeners, such as siblings or grandparents, will further encourage him or her to become readers for life.
The levels and nonfiction subjects of DK Readers make reading an adventure for your child, developing the habit of reading for both pleasure and education. Find out more about the DK Readers series at www.dk.com, and encourage your child to revisit DK findout!, a free secure website for kids, to explore these subjects further. The “Summertime reading” articles for children in the Explore section on DK findout! also provide some fascinating facts to inspire interest in these and other favourite subjects through the holidays.