NCTE's NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children is announced today.
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 create a Flip Book to help them organize their information.
The National Council of Teachers of English provides information on the annual Orbis Pictus Award, including its history, selection criteria, and nomination procedures.
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.
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.