Nonfiction Teacher Resources
Find Nonfiction educational ideas and activities
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Incorporating nonfiction lessons into literature instruction can be interesting and engaging for all students.
Here are some lesson ideas for teaching students about the traits of nonfiction text.
Have your class participate in a discussion of the nonfiction genre. Do they enjoy it? Is it boring? Then have them demonstrate the author's purpose by writing an expository text. They view various types of nonfiction and take notes on each work's organization and presentation. Finally, they write a brief essay that demonstrates the understanding of the author's purpose in an expository text.
Young scholars explore how nonfiction relates to their own lives, other texts, family, friends, or world issues. They read the selected text and share a personal experience. Students compose their own nonfiction story.
Students examine the difference between nonfiction and fictional writing. They identify the characteristics of nonfiction literature and examine how a nonfiction textbook organizes information.
Elementary schoolers examine the components of reading nonfiction. They use think-alouds to help them complete reading the selected sections. They also identify text features as they read.
First graders characterize fiction and non-fiction books, they discover the characteristics of each type of book and compare two books (one fiction & one nonfiction) about the same subject. They make a list that describes what makes one book real and one make-believe. There is a worksheet for independent practice included with this lesson.
The first lesson in a series of three lessons from Scholastic on fiction and nonfiction, this plan is designed to help young readers begin to distinguish between types of books. Learners will read many books in order to compare the features of each genre. They list the features of each, and then label books they have read as either fiction or nonfiction.
Discover the world of nonfiction literature. In this language arts lesson, young learners read samples of nonfiction books, maps, magazines, and menus while analyzing the differences between fiction literature. They discuss their thoughts on nonfiction and their reading experiences in the past.
The second in a series of three lessons from Scholastic comparing and contrasting fiction and nonfiction, this activity requires learners to read, write, and compare two books independently. After briefly reviewing the features of nonfiction, each pair of pupils receives a book bag containing one fiction and one nonfiction book. With their partner, they have to determine which is which. They also complete a T-chart.
The last lesson in a series of three lessons, this plan is designed to have young readers further explore fiction and nonfiction books. They will compare and contrast the characteristics of each genre using a Venn Diagram to organize the information they gathered from an activity in a pervious lesson. They should complete this Venn Diagram individually, then share with a partner and finally with the whole class.
Students explore reading nonfiction. In this nonfiction lesson, students practice using KWL charts to organize nonfiction information gained from reading. Students explore unfamiliar words from reading and recognize synonyms and antonyms.
Fifth graders review the characteristics of a nonfiction text. For this language arts lesson, 5th graders understand that one can use a specific graphic organizer to help them in understanding an organizational structure. For example, in understanding chronological order one would use a time line, while for logical order one would use a cycle of events.
Help readers prepare to read informational texts with this lesson from Scholastic. They will practice nonfiction comprehension strategies such as activating prior knowledge and asking questions. Additionally, they will complete the K and W portions of a classroom KWL chart about the Leaning Tower of Pisa and review the meanings of several unknown words as pre-reading comprehension strategies.
Nothing aids in comprehension more than an explanation and understanding of why things are done. Address why the Common Core requires the reading percentages that it established and analyze how this affects your readers. Learners read informational pieces concerning the CCSS and discuss what they want to read, and should read in school. They also review the anchor standards for reading literature and informational texts, and decide on how it is best balanced. Adapt this resource for the specific issues in your class, and let the understanding begin.
Here's a short video that models how to determine the central idea of a nonfiction article. Using John Moir's Smithsonian article, "The Little Owls that Live Underground," viewers follow along as sections of the text that illustrate key points, which are highlighted. Part of a series of videos that focus on nonfiction reading comprehension skills, the resource can be used alone as well.
Fifth graders identify and recognize various nonfiction structures and features. They identify and extract information from various access features or conventions of nonfiction books.
Explore nonfiction writing with your class. They will identify elements in nonfiction by reviewing elements of fiction. Then they use biographies, memoirs, menus, Time for Kids, and text books to identify elements of nonfiction. They will respond to the text using thoughtful questions.
Learners explore nonfiction text. They identify the cover, title page, and table of contents of a nonfiction book. Pupils work in groups to create a chapter for a nonfiction class book about heroes.
ï»¿Students find the difference between fiction and nonfiction. In this fiction/nonfiction lesson, 1st graders read the story Johnny Appleseed and discuss what makes this a nonfiction story. They listen to a fiction story and see what parts of it are fantasy.