Nonfiction Fun

On Monday we kicked off our nonfiction unit. We kicked off this unit of study by comparing and contrasting fiction and nonfiction.  I used books to prompt the students' thinking as we discussed the similarities and differences between the two.

I then had the students complete a page indicating their preferred reading material: fiction or nonfiction.  They had to state why it was their favorite.

Then, I had them indicate what nonfiction topic they would like to read about. The responses varied greatly.  Some wanted to read about the body and how it works, a few wanted to read about spiders, and my favorite, one wanted to read about Santa because she wants to know how you let him know what you want.  So cute!

The nonfiction book I would choose is about Santa because I want to know about how you tell him what you want.

We also made "pocket cards."  This idea came from one of my teaching buddies and I absolutely love the idea.  Essentially, they are mini flashcards.  The students cut out and glue their vocabulary words onto a small piece of construction paper (3 inches by 4.5 inches, in case you were curious).  On the back, they write the definition of the word. 

The students then used them to quiz each other about the meaning of some key words from the text.

I don't know about you, but our kiddos (I say our, because it seems to be a grade wide issue) have a hard time with proper nouns.  For some reason they have difficulty remembering that a proper noun is capitalized and that it is the special name of a specific person, place, or thing.  So, to help reinforce this concept, the students went on a Proper Noun Hunt (thanks T for the great idea!).  This reader is full of them!

Today the students answered some comprehension questions about the story and tomorrow they will do a quick review by playing a review game before they take a quiz on the booklet.

While a few of these activities were pretty specific to our reader this week, I hope you were able to find some useful ideas!

We will continue to read nonfiction over the next few weeks and I'll continue to share ideas!

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  1. lol I love the beginning of your post. I guess all of us in CCSD are lacking big time in the resources department! We are having the hardest time trying to find non-fiction texts for our kids! Great ideas Aimee - we are starting to compare fiction to non-fiction next week :) andddd I love the idea of pocket cards!

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

    1. Hi Susan! True story, huh?! If your school has an A-Z license, I suggest going there to find books. We were able to enter the specific standards and then the site provided a list of books identified to meet them. We also did some general searching and located ones that would fit too. Of course, now we have to create all the materials to go with each book.

      The pocket cards were fun, and the kids really liked them. I'm so glad my colleague shared the idea...Love! Thanks for commenting!!


  2. Aimee,
    I'm a new follower! I love your nonfiction ideas! Thanks!
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!


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