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Reading nonfiction writing is the key component of the Core Knowledge curriculum, which is based on the theory that children raised reading storybooks will lack the necessary background and vocabulary to understand history and science texts. While the curriculum allows children to read fiction, it also calls on them to knowledgeably discuss weather patterns, the solar system, and how ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia compare.
The curriculum may have a particular appeal for city schools beginning to adopt the Common Core standards, which emphasize nonfiction reading and will go into effect in 2014. The Education Department plans to solicit bids from companies interested in creating textbooks, for students of all grades, that will be based on the standards.
Read more about it at The NY Times