Helping your Student Understand

When to Teach about Non-Fiction

Teaching about non-fiction should be done at the same time as other genres and as early as possible. The non-fiction genre has an abundance of information to offer to students in content related areas and often helps gain their interest. Students should learn about the possibilities of non-fiction text and how it can help with other subject areas.

How to Teach about Non-fiction Comprehension Strategies

In order to successfully teach about non-fiction comprehension strategies you must:

  • Teach and model the strategies in use with a non-fiction text, this way they are sure on how to use it.
  • Let the students try to use the strategy with assistance from the teacher when necessary
  • Allow the students to use the strategy on their own

This model of teaching was retrieved from:

Palmer, R. G., & Stewart, R. A., (2005). Models for using nonfiction in the primary grades, The Reading Teacher, 58(5), 426-434. doi: 10.1598/RT.58.5.2

Tips for helping your student with non-fiction texts

  1. Have a variety of texts readily available for your student
  2. Encourage the interest of your student in all types of texts
  3. Ask questions about what your student is reading and allow them to ask you questions.
  4. Allow your student to research any topic of interest they may have.
  5. Read with your student in order to model the way you think when reading.

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