Introducing Non-Fiction: 5 Day Unit

This 5 day unit on non-fiction text teaches 2nd-5th grade students to use non-fiction text features to make meaning. This unit features many "Reading Tools" students can use to make meaning of non-fiction text. Hot links bring up pdf files: pre-reading graphic organizers, lists of reading tools, KWL charts, non-fiction kid-friendly articles and questions, and an illustration of the 5 text structures of non-fiction. Characteristics of non-fiction text, text features and structures are taught in context to help kids make predictions and comprehend. Think Aloud strategy is used to artfully engage students in discussion regarding informational text.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2
Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.5
Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7
Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.8
Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.10
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5
Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.6
Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.5
Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6
Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7
Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.3
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9
Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
GLE 0201.6.2
Comprehend the main ideas and supporting details of informational texts.
GLE 0201.6.3
Interpret the graphics that support informational texts.
GLE 0301.6.1
Apply appropriate reading strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0301.6.2
Recognize the different features of informational texts (e.g., separate text boxes, diagrams, captions, charts, graphs).
GLE 0401.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0401.6.1
Apply skills and strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0401.6.2
Recognize the different text features of informational texts (e.g., separate text boxes, diagrams, captions, charts, graphs).
GLE 0401.8.1
Use active comprehension strategies to derive meaning while reading and check for understanding after reading.
GLE 0501.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0501.6.1
Apply appropriate skills and strategies to comprehend informational texts (e.g., pre-reading strategies, comprehension strategies, graphic organizers,...
GLE 0501.6.2
Recognize the different text features of informational texts (e.g., separate text boxes, diagrams, captions, charts, graphs).
GLE 0501.6.3
Explore the organizational structures of informational texts.
GLE 0501.7.4
Be aware of how message or meaning changes when a written work is translated into a visual presentation.
GLE 0501.8.1
Use previously learned comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading.
GLE 0501.8.2
Experience various literary genres, including fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, chapter books, biography/autobiography, short stories, folk tales, myths,...
GLE 0701.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
SPI 0301.6.4
Locate information using available text features (e.g., charts, maps, graphics).
SPI 0401.2.1
Identify the main idea and supporting points of a speech.
SPI 0401.4.2
Rank the reliability of sources on a given topic.
SPI 0401.6.2
Identify the stated main idea and supporting details in text.
SPI 0401.6.6
Use available text features (e.g., graphics and illustrations) to make meaning from text.
SPI 0401.7.2
Identify the main idea in a visual image.
SPI 0501.5.2
Identify stated or implied cause and effect relationships in text.
TSS.ELA.2.RI.IKI.7
Identify and explain how illustrations and words contribute to and clarify a text.
TSS.ELA.2.RL.IKI.7
Use information gained from illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
TSS.ELA.4.FL.F.5
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.CS.6
Compare and contrast two accounts of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it...
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and informational texts throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.CS.6
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.IKI.7
Make connections between the print version of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the same text.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and poems throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.SL.CC.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.F.5
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.CS.6
Analyze the similarities and differences in points of view of multiple accounts of the same event or topic.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which points.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.9
Integrate information from two or more texts on the same topic in order to build content knowledge.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.KID.3
Explain the relationships and interactions among two or more individuals, events, and/or ideas in a text.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and informational texts at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.CS.6
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.IKI.9
Compare and contrast stories in the same genre on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.KID.3
Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and poems at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
TSS.ELA.5.SL.CC.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Objective:

Students will:

  • Get an introduction to nonfiction texts and identify what they already know about this genre
  • Prepare to read a nonfiction article by building background knowledge and learning key vocabulary
  • Learn text features associated with types of nonfiction
  • Learn about different text structures used in nonfiction and identify the text structure of a specific passage
  • Check their comprehension skills and apply what they've learned to their own writing

Unit Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

Helpful Hints

Materials

Lesson 1:

  • Classroom social studies or science textbook
  • Example of fiction (e.g., storybook)
  • Samples of nonfiction literature (books, menus, maps, magazines, etc.)

Lesson 2:

  • Chart paper and markers
  • KWL Chart (PDF), one per student
  • Stopping a Toppling Tower (PDF)

Lesson 3:

  • Prereading Organizer (PDF), one per student
  • Stopping a Toppling Tower (PDF), one per student
  • Optional: Sample book with fiction stories
  • Optional: Projector to display the "Stopping a Toppling Tower" article for the class

Lesson 4:

  • Five Text Structures Chart (PDF), one per student
  • Stopping a Toppling Tower (PDF), one per student

Lesson 5:

  • Writing tools
  • Paper
  • Stopping a Toppling Tower (PDF), one per student

References

Contributors: