GES Literacy Links

Nonfiction Winter Edition

Resources from our PLC room for teaching nonfiction. Check them out!

A Few Ideas For Mini Lessons As We Gear up to Teach Nonfiction

  • Compare and contrast both fiction and nonfiction texts
  • Teach nonfiction text structure (how authors organize information in a text)
  • Call attention to maps, text boxes, photos, diagrams, and captions which will enhance understanding
  • Teach main idea through sections, usually stated in the first sentence of each section/paragraph
  • Model for readers how to ask questions, "think aloud" when reading about a new topic or noticing text features
  • Teach readers to identify author's purpose of writing nonfiction texts (inform, persuade)
  • Teach older students how to distinguish important/unimportant information in order to identify key ideas
  • Teach students to synthesize a text
  • Call attention to the predictable characteristics and features in nonfiction.
  • As an activating strategy, have students make predictions about what they anticipate learning
  • Teach skimming and scanning texts for specific information
  • Create an anchor chart capturing the important information from your nonfiction mini lesson
  • Stop several times during the reading of a nonfiction text and have students summarize. *Thompson's research recommends age + 1 for the number of teaching minutes before summarizing.
  • Before/During/After reading have students compile the information using a graphic organizer

Looking for Online Resources for Nonfiction?

Here is a blog post which includes several free sites for nonfiction texts that you could display on your SmartBoard and/or print.


Some additional highlights:

NewsELA is an wonderful site for nonfiction articles of which you can choose the lexile level. This is great to use for differentiation. You can sign up for a free NewsELA account as an educator. You can also create accounts for your student.


The Scholastic News includes an article on Whale Hunting that may interest our 4th Grade Ocean Animal Life Readers!


In the Smithsonian Snapshots, students can read various short articles. Students may find it interesting to read that cough syrup from long ago included tar as a main ingredient!


Yak's Corner is an online Michigan magazine for kids. You can sign up for free or download each month's copy. This month's edition includes a great section on the presidential election.

Comic Strips: Teach Summarizing Paraphrasing & Quoting

This site has ideas on how to use comic strips to teach summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting.

Questions? In need of more resources? Email me.

Please email ideas or requests for future editions of the Literacy Links Newsletter.


We are looking for nonfiction teaching and learning celebrations to feature in the next newsletter. Please share some of your work/ideas!