Teaching Nonfiction

When Should I Teach Nonfiction?

Most curriculums have nonfiction built in but if you don't use a big box curriculum (yay) or you don't have one then it might be hard to decide when to teach nonfiction. My recommendation is that you teach nonfiction as much as you teach fiction. YES, that's correct half of your instruction should be nonfiction. My favorite way to do this after introducing both explicitly is to do paired nonfiction passages with my fiction stories.

How do I make Nonfiction More Engaging?

Another complaint I often hear is that nonfiction is boring. While I might tend to agree with you there are many students who would disagree. Both of my own boys love nonfiction and choose it regularly over fiction. Just because a genre is engaging to you the teacher doesn't mean it is engaging to our students.
To get my students to read nonfiction on their own we make lists of things they like such as horses, gymnastics, monkeys, sharks, soccer etc. Then we find books in the library about these topics that they can read. This makes for a great dewy decimal system paired unit with your librarian too!

When teaching non-fiction again I like pairing nonfiction passages with our fiction story to increase engagement. I find this helps with schema and vocabulary as well.

Using nonfiction passages on high-interest topics that are timely and relevant is another good way to make nonfiction engaging. For example, an upcoming presidential inauguration is a current event that I bet your students have heard about. A nonfiction passage on it would be a great way to both teach about it and practice nonfiction skills such as the main idea.

Where do I find Nonfiction Passages?

Finally, I get asked where can I find nonfiction passages to use with my students? There are actually several sources for nonfiction passages including Newsela, and Readworks which are both free and I have used in the past. But I kept seeing second and third graders struggle with nonfiction and score low on assessments so I created my own set of nonfiction passages written at a second-grade level which also worked well for my students in third grade that were struggling. I created passages on high-interest topics and paired them with my favorite picture books to help my students as I mentioned above! In the year-long bundle, there is also a passage of the week lesson plan and vocabulary page to use with the 

There are ten sets of passages each with at least 5 passages with answer keys which should be more than enough for the school year. The bundle includes all of the passages and extras!

Want to try a free sample? Click HERE to get the inauguration passage for free!

Want to try January's Passages shown in this post click HERE to buy.
Ready to grab the bundle? Click HERE!


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