I happened to come across a book called, The Leprechaun Companion, at a second hand store. My kids had really been engrossed in our discussion about Leprechauns during our St. Patrick's Day lesson, so I figured I'd pick it up and put it in the class library. As I read through it myself, I realized that there was a lot of "informational" AND "Literary" text involved in this book. Before putting it into the library, it seemed like a great opportunity to present as a lesson.
Before I put it in front of the students, I looked extensively for a label to put on this book. Is it informational or literary? Is it allowed to be a combination of the two? This book, and others like it (about Dragons, Fairies, Unicorns) are written as informational non-fiction, yet the topic is something people in the mainstream categorize as Fantasy.
The closest designation I could find was something I hadn't previously heard before. The term, Informational Fiction, which tells a made up story, but uses actual facts. A good example of informational fiction is the Magic School Bus series. It includes facts, but is really a fiction story. This example is in line with what I'm trying to convey. Even so, it doesn't completely identify this type of book, although genre is directly connected to the author's intent. Regardless, I put the question in front of my students as they answered the questions to see what they come up with.
I select three different sections of the text and copy. Passed out randomly, the kids will get either Rainbows, Music, or Work. They read the page then explain the text and draw inferences. They need to classify their passage as either Informational or Literary. As explained in the Warm Up, I'm not even clear on the answer, but they need to give evidence for their answer and it will be interesting to read them. I've included a resource for Genre Characterictics as a point of reference.
After this is completed, they write a summary of what they read on the back of the page.
*On the downloadable worksheet I removed the name, The Leprechaun Companion, so the pages can be used with any book a teacher chooses.