A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades

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Product Details

Stenhouse Publishers
Publish Date
7.42 X 9.2 X 0.48 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Georgia Heard, author of The Arrow Finds its Mark, is a writer, speaker, and educational consultant who teaches and speaks to audiences in the United States and around the world about writing and using poetry with children. She lives in Singer Island, Florida.

Jen McDonough is a first-grade teacher and literacy coach at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. She has taught first grade and kindergarten for ten years and has been a part of literacy training for teachers for more than three years.

She received her bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and her master's degree from Florida Atlantic University.

"Teaching found me," Jen says. "My goal was to work with kids because I knew that I connected well with them and they responded to me in a positive way. I studied speech pathology but had a hard time getting into graduate school, so I started teaching and haven't looked back."

Jen says that she especially loves the process of getting to know kids and watching them become amazing readers and writers. "The kids' enthusiasm for the world around them keeps me in awe of the natural world and curious. This is one of the only jobs I know where you go to work and someone is constantly telling you how special you are. It's a good place to be!"

Of working with Georgia Heard on their book, Jen says she feels lucky "to ride on the greatness of Georgia Heard. She taught me how to be patient, work hard, revise, and create deadlines so writing was actually completed. Georgia taught me that teachers have really good ideas and that anyone can write a book if they believe in what they have to say and are dedicated to getting it on paper."


In A Place for Wonder, Georgia Heard and Jennifer McDonough have created a text to guide educators of young children in establishing "wonder" in the classroom. The text is divided into three main sections: Creating a Won-der World; Nonfiction Writing from the Heart; and Nonfiction Research Wonder Writing. In particular, the first section of the text contains many use-ful tools for creating a sense of wonder in an early-years classroom. Included in these pages are sample letters for home communication, recommended book lists, student observation and recording sheets, how-to information and the authors' personal reflections. However, the later section that pertains to research is light on the actual research aspect. The reader needs to be cognizant that the authors' focus is on non-fiction writing, and not on inquiry. All in all, this is a strong text to assist educators in their quest to instill a sense of wonder and encourage students to question the natural world around them.Green Teacher, Fall 2016
"It's the way that the authors capture wonder and curiosity and teach the children to use it in their writing that is a breath of fresh air. This is an amazing addition to the primary teacher's bag of tricks as they teach nonfiction writing." - Timmons Times blog

"I use many of Heard's ideas and resources in my poetry unit, so I knew her nonfiction ideas would be stellar. I was not wrong--this is a great book for any teacher interested in growing his/her students' knowledge about writing nonfiction." - Reading Zone blog

"I really intended just to skim it over. Two hours later, I discovered that I had read the whole thing from cover to cover. Not just read it, but thoroughly enjoyed it, and couldn't wait to pass it on." - Teaching with Picture Books blog