Lesson: Fiction vs. Nonfiction
SWBAT differentiate between fiction and nonfiction texts. SWBAT list features of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Fiction vs. nonfiction (lesson #1)
1. Quick Question(s) (5 min.) – Name five different, specific genres. (ex: historical fiction, science fiction, poetry, realistic fiction, informational)
2. Mini lesson (10 min.)
a. Name the teaching point: Good readers can tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction texts. They choose each for different purposes. Today we will sort books into categories by fiction and nonfiction.
b. Using the teacher’s reader’s notebook as a model and the document camera have students copy notes into their reader’s notebooks. This should also be copied onto chart paper. (See the lesson files for a picture of the notes.)
i. First, begin a new section of the reader’s notebook with two pages labeled “Good readers of nonfiction…” This is where students are going to collect the daily teaching point. By the end of the unit they will have a list of everything they learned. Today’s teaching point for the notebook is: Good readers can tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction.
ii. Second, have students label the next page in their reader’s notebook with the title, Fiction vs. nonfiction texts and draw a t-chart below it. The t-chart should be labeled fiction text features and nonfiction text features. Have students brainstorm elements of fiction (characters, setting, plot, initiating event, problem, resolution, story triangle, etc.) and add them to the chart. My students should know this from previous units.
iii. Third, have students brainstorm elements of nonfiction texts and add this information to the chart. If necessary jump in to help with brainstorming…the students may not have enough background knowledge to readily provide elements.
3. Students practice reading strategy (15 min.) –
a. With students in partners have them sort a bin of 8-12 books into fiction and nonfiction using the notes in their RNB. They can make a separate pile for books they are unsure of.
b. After about 6-8 minutes have students stop sorting and pick out an exemplar book from the fiction and nonfiction piles. Using the exemplar, pairs should write a sticky for the cover of the book explaining clearly why it’s fiction or nonfiction
c. Have pairs briefly present their exemplar choices
4. Reading (10 min.)
a. Have kids choose a nonfiction book that interested them while they were doing their sort. They should read for 10 minutes noticing what is different about reading nonfiction.
b. This is short today because the students don’t have a lot of experience with nonfiction reading and will inevitably make some poor book choices.
5. Exit slip (5 min.)
a. Have students define fiction and nonfiction in their own words.
1. What went well?
2. What would you change?
3. What needs explanation?
The entire class was really engaged
during the lesson and the reading pairs did a great job sorting their books. I was especially impressed with their explanations for how they sorted the books into piles and their thoughtfulness around sorting tricky texts.They left class clambering to begin using the nonfiction books for independent reading and wanted to know what we would be learning tomorrow.
Despite the kids engagement and enthusiasm, many of the exit slips did not have a clear definition of nonfiction. Many students defined nonfiction by saying, “Nonfiction does not have characters, a setting, problem, etc…” instead of defining what it does have. Other exit slips were vague, “Nonfiction is real.” When I teach this lesson again I would be clearer in defining what nonfiction is. We created the t-chart, but I don’t think I was explicit enough in defining nonfiction. I expected the students were going to make this leap on their own and they didn’t. I’ll be sure to firm this up in the second lesson.
My scholars have had very little experience with nonfiction reading and through some recent testing I realized that they didn’t know how to tackle reading a nonfiction text. I’m designing this unit to be the basics that will allow my reader’s to dive into nonfiction reading for information and enjoyment. The unit will focus on nonfiction text features and strategies good nonfiction readers use when they read.
I use a document camera. It projects anything you put under it using a VPU. It allows me to project books, notes, and student work without making overheads.
|fiction/nonfiction feature chart||
|Partners sorting books||
|temporary NF library IMG 0112||
|Fiction vs NF notes t chart IMG 0103 Notes||
|Exit Ticket with lines for OEQ s Assessment||
|nonfiction reading log Homework||
|Quick Questions with lines for OEQ s Starter / Do Now||
|Good Readers of Nonfiction... Notes||
|fiction vs nonfiction texts||