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Mrs. Anderson from Stillwater OK is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Nutty for Nonfiction

My students need high-interest, challenging nonfiction to create real-world relevant projects.

  • $696 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Walking hormones. Balls of energy. My little "rutabagas." That's how I would best describe my 150 9th grade Pre-AP Language Arts students.

On the first day of school, I explain to my inquisitive, wiggly students that I want them to transform their writing in my Language Arts class from "potato" to "rutabaga." "The spider jumped." That's bland.

That's boring. Dull. Like a potato without any of the fixings. I asked the students to fix it and make it "fancy" using imagery. This was the result from one of my more eager students: "The menacing spider darted cursory glances at my fear-stricken face with eight pitch-black eyes. He seemed to size me up, tempting me to make a shaky movement. In a blink, he leaped into the air like Michael Jordan in his prime."

"Now that kind of writing is like a fancy vegetable...like a....um...rutabaga!" I exclaimed.

I had never had a rutabaga before. Little did I know that rutabagas are pretty ugly and they don't taste fancy at all. Nevertheless, later that week, my desk was flooded with rutabagas. My 9th graders may be acne-scarred, fidgety, and will come to deeply regret their fashion choices, but they are my rutabagas!

My Project

The vast majority of the books my students have read in their English classes thus far have been fiction. As an ELA teacher, I can't deny the power of a good narrative, but I also wish to prepare my students for life beyond classroom walls. Many of the books and materials students will read independently in college will be nonfiction. Indeed, one college freshman once returned to my classroom and noted, "Mrs. Anderson, It's just hard. They're expecting us to come to class having read this really tough material without any story to it, and be prepared to discuss, critically analyze, and write about it! I don't even understand half of it! I'm used to things being read aloud to me and having characters to relate to." Likewise, many careers involve reading technical manuals or instructional materials that can be difficult if students are not used to reading nonfiction independently.

To prepare students for a world beyond school walls, I plan to design a real-world relevant, challenging nonfiction book project for my 9th grade Pre-AP English students.

The books I have chosen represent a range of high-interest topics such as multicultural studies, social justice, women's studies, history and politics, leadership, science and technology, and sports. Students will have the freedom to choose the book they feel is most relevant to their life and create a project that demonstrates their comprehension and analysis of the concepts therein, building their reading stamina and learning about a new topic in the process!

Mrs. Anderson
Grades 9-12
More than a third of students from low‑income households

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10 donors10 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 150 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
The Sympathizer • Amazon Business $19.71 1 $19.71
The Power • Amazon Business $18.20 1 $18.20
The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google • Amazon Business $16.95 1 $16.95
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions • Amazon Business $15.66 1 $15.66
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story • Amazon Business $14.70 1 $14.70
The Hazel Wood: A Novel • Amazon Business $14.66 1 $14.66
The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report • Amazon Business $14.49 1 $14.49
Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate (History (US)) • Amazon Business $14.38 1 $14.38
The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor • Amazon Business $14.05 1 $14.05
No Logo: 10th Anniversary Edition with a New Introduction by the Author • Amazon Business $13.13 1 $13.13
One of Us Is Lying • Amazon Business $12.96 1 $12.96
The Diviners • Amazon Business $12.94 1 $12.94
Thornhill • Amazon Business $12.90 1 $12.90
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter • Amazon Business $12.32 1 $12.32
Truly Devious: A Mystery • Amazon Business $12.32 1 $12.32
The Bone Clocks: A Novel • Amazon Business $12.23 1 $12.23
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology • Amazon Business $12.19 1 $12.19
Death Comes to Pemberley • Amazon Business $11.78 1 $11.78
The Shadow of the Wind • Amazon Business $11.55 1 $11.55
The Beauty That Remains • Amazon Business $11.45 1 $11.45
We Were Liars • Amazon Business $11.15 1 $11.15
The Wonder • Amazon Business $10.87 1 $10.87
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files) • Amazon Business $10.86 1 $10.86
The Hate U Give • Amazon Business $10.79 1 $10.79
I Have Lost My Way • Amazon Business $10.75 1 $10.75
The Queen of the Tearling: A Novel (Queen of the Tearling, The) • Amazon Business $10.15 1 $10.15
American Street • Amazon Business $9.99 1 $9.99
Solo (Blink) • Amazon Business $9.98 1 $9.98
Conversion • Amazon Business $9.88 1 $9.88
The Circle • Amazon Business $9.80 1 $9.80
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game • Amazon Business $9.59 1 $9.59
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers • Amazon Business $9.18 1 $9.18
Red Glass (Readers Circle (Delacorte)) • Amazon Business $8.82 1 $8.82
Everything, Everything • Amazon Business $8.79 1 $8.79
Another Day • Amazon Business $8.79 1 $8.79
Salt: A World History • Amazon Business $8.64 1 $8.64
Black Like Me • Amazon Business $8.44 1 $8.44
Station Eleven • Amazon Business $8.21 1 $8.21
Openly Straight • Amazon Business $8.10 1 $8.10
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein (Apprenticeship of Victor Frnkenstein) • Amazon Business $7.98 1 $7.98
Juliet Immortal • Amazon Business $7.81 1 $7.81
Starcrossed (Starcrossed Trilogy) • Amazon Business $7.54 1 $7.54
New Girl • Amazon Business $7.32 1 $7.32
Code Name Verity • Amazon Business $6.98 1 $6.98
The Madman's Daughter • Amazon Business $6.44 1 $6.44
We Should All Be Feminists • Amazon Business $6.39 1 $6.39

Materials cost

$511.81

Vendor shipping charges

FREE

State sales tax

$41.71

3rd party payment processing fee

$7.68

Fulfillment labor & materials

$30.00

Total project cost

$591.20

Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms

$104.33

Total project goal

$695.53

How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal

$695.53

10 Donors

-$692.00

Donations toward project cost

-$591.20

Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms

-$100.80

Excluded support for DonorsChoose

-$3.53

Still needed View calculationHide calculation

$0.00

Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

View complete list Show less

Project Activity

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