What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
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NCTE's Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Award is announced today.
|Grades||3 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Literacy-Related Event|
In 1990, NCTE established an annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children in grades K-8. The name Orbis Pictus commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, whose Orbis Pictus-The World in Pictures (1657) is considered to be the first children's picture book. One title is selected for the award each November at the Annual NCTE Convention, and as many as five Honor Books are also recognized.
Have your students conduct research and write original works of nonfiction on topics of their choice. Students may wish to work collaboratively on this project as coauthors or author-illustrator teams.
- First, have students brainstorm possible topics individually or in small groups.
- After each student or team has selected a topic, have them conduct research using appropriate Orbis Pictus Award-winners, Internet resources, and other reference sources.
- Have students plan and write informational picture books, biographies, or other works of nonfiction. You may wish to have students use the ReadWriteThink Flip Book to help them organize their information. More tips are available for use with the Flip Book.
Explore the Three Ways to Bind a Handmade Book printout, and consider laminating book pages for durability. Then add your students' finished works to your classroom library for all to learn from and enjoy.
- NCTE Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Award
The National Council of Teachers of English provides information on the annual Orbis Pictus Award, including its history, selection criteria, and nomination procedures.
- The Significance of Topics of Orbis Pictus Award-Winning Books
This sample chapter from the NCTE text The Best in Children's Nonfiction explores the elements that come into play as the committee chooses the winner.
- Orbis sensualium pictus
This page, from the State Library of South Australia, offers information about Johannes Amos Comenius and his illustrated Latin primer for which the Orbis Pictus award is named. Additional links and an image from the book are also included.
|Lesson Plans||Other Calendar Activities||Printouts||Professional Development||Parent & Afterschool Resources|
Grades K – 6 | Calendar Activity |  October 1
Students create lists of their favorite books and then the class creates a "Top Picks" class booklist. Students can use the Book Cover Creator to create a book jacket for their favorite book.
Grades K – 7 | Calendar Activity |  November 21
Students read and discuss an award-winning book before writing their own story that demonstrates compassion.