What Are the Benefits of Using Trade Books in the Classroom?

Spark students interest in a topic by presenting them with trade books.

A trade book is any type of book that is written and published with intent to sell to the general public. Chapter, picture, fiction and non-fiction books are all examples of trade books. There is a trade book written about virtually every topic and as such, they are engaging and spark the interest of readers. Providing students with opportunities to explore such books is an ideal way to promote a lifetime love of reading and learning.

1 Motivation

If you are presenting a new topic to your students, get them motivated by presenting them with trade books that are based on the topic. There is a trade book written for nearly every topic and subject you can think of–from social studies to math–and the manner in which the information is presented in such books is meant to be entertaining, thus sparking students interest and getting them motivated about the topic at hand. For instance, if you are planning to teach your students about circumference, the trade book, "Sir Cumference and the First Round Table" by Cindy Neauschwander and Wayne Geehan is an ideal way to introduce the topic. Perhaps you are going to cover western expansion with your class, add the "Little House on the Prairie" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder to your classroom library.

2 Vocabulary Development

Trade books offer opportunities for vocabulary development. These books present new vocabulary words in a way that students can relate to them, use them and thus better understand them. When children are presented with new words in a way that allows them to see how they are used in context, they are more likely to retain their meaning.

3 Literacy Development

Promote literacy development in your classroom with trade books. Fiction and non-fiction books allow students to develop fluency in their reading, as these texts are typically written in a conversational format. Reading trade books aloud with your students can help to develop intonation, which helps make books come to life. Additionally, such texts provide students with meaningful and interesting reading experiences, as they are able to read about topics that interest them, which can foster a lifetime love of reading.

4 Builds Comprehension

Comprehension is the process of understanding and trade books help to build comprehension of different subjects. The more opportunities children are given to engage in enjoyable reading, the more they are able to build their background knowledge, which is the key to comprehension. In learning, when children have a large pool of information to draw from, they are better equipped to understand new information they are exposed to.

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.