Importance of Trade Books in Supporting the Curriculum

Too many students today are filled with "book knowledge" they don't know how to use. They have memorized facts and filled in bubbles on standardized tests until their #2 pencils are worn down to nubs. Parents and educators are saying education should be more than that; it should place emphasis on problem solving, deep thinking, and critical analysis.

When was the last time your biology textbook led to a stimulating discussion? Studies show that in contrast to textbooks, trade books can be a powerful tool to promote critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity. Instead of defining knowledge as memorized, disconnected facts, trade books promote real-world problem solving skills. Students who understand there are many “correct” ways to solve problems have a great advantage over those who believe there’s a single answer for every question.

The Common Core State Standards, which are being implemented in 46 states and the District of Columbia, require well-researched informational text, well-crafted narrative text and readings that engage critical analysis and reward re-reading. Nonfiction texts will account for a full 70% of all reading assigned in the classroom. Textbooks will be de-emphasized and trade book use will be increased.

Trade books can be used in math and science education in several ways:

  • To read aloud to a class
  • To introduce a math and science topic and related facts
  • To answer student questions and generate further student questions
  • To further explore a topic combined with hand-on experiences

The most immediate benefit of using trade books is an increase in student engagement. Math and science is real and part of everyday life: it is alive in books that children, teachers and parents enjoy reading. Kids learn how to extract the important data needed to solve science and math problems while strengthening and rewarding reading skills. Sparking delight in a good book makes math and science more enjoyable to read and not as scary.

Read some reviews on how our books are perfect for the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

Cox, Carol. “What the Research Says About Literature-Based Teaching and Science.” Reading Rockets. 25 Oct. 2012. Web

Price, Ruth, and Colleen Lennon. “Using Children’s Literature to Teach Mathematics.” Quantile. 25 Oct 2012. Web.