'I Wonder' Notebooks: A Search for Questions
Nonfiction begins with wondering. Put a basket of beautiful nonfiction picture books in front of your students and listen to them talk. To help my students realize how important their questions are to their enjoyment of the books they are reading as well as to their understanding of what they are reading I introduce the 'I Wonder' notebooks. The students keep these notebooks at hand all the time making them a part of their daily lives. This is where they can jot down the questions they have about the world around them. Nonfiction writers must be keen observers. In The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown the reader is invited to look at everyday things in new and interesting ways. This book, along with Why by Tony Ross and Lindsay Camp, become the springboard to the whole idea of asking questions.
Barbara Kurtzman Phillips