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Oct 31, 2010

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction

One of the first standards of the year that I teach in 2nd grade is distinguishing between fiction and non-fiction (fantasy and reality). We work for a few weeks on different activities including:

  • Sorting a variety of books between fiction and non-fiction
  • Exploring various books to determine what features each genre has
  • Creating a Venn Diagram including the characteristics of each genre
  • Completing an assessment where each student is given a book at random and asked to determine whether it is fiction or non-fiction, then list the reasons for their choice (from the class Venn Diagram)
After students are assessed, I find it important to continue to explore and assess this concept. So, I add an activity to explore the differences between fiction and non-fiction text to a workstation titled "Fiction/Non-Fiction Sort":

In this workstation, I change out the selection of books weekly. (I try to choose a fairly equal amount of fiction and non-fiction books for the station.) I put the selection of 10-12 books in the workstation basket and two "header" cards labeled FICTION and NON-FICTION.

Students are to:
  • Sort all of the books under each header by looking through each book and using it's characteristics at a glance to determine if the book is fiction or non-fiction. Students shouldn't have to actually read the book in its entirety to determine this.
  • Choose one book from each genre (one from fiction, one from non-fiction) that they'd like to investigate further.
  • Complete the form below that includes listing the title of the book, genre, and characteristics that make that book fiction or non-fiction.  (Students are encouraged to use the class-created Venn Diagram that hangs up all year long.)


Additional Resources:
Fiction/Non-Fiction Bookmarks
FCRR Comprehension Expository Text Structure Activities
FCRR Comprehension Fiction and Nonfiction Review and other activities

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