February 2017 - The Classroom Nook


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5 Ideas for Teaching Students How to Read Nonfiction

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If you think about it -  most of what we read in life is nonfiction.  We read street signs when we are driving, we read recipes when we cook, we read manuals when we are trying to figure out why the heck the vacuum cleaner isn't working...again!

Teaching students to read nonfiction texts effectively is a reading beast all on its own.  There are a lot of moving parts:  identifying text features and structure, using the glossary, referring to headings and sub-titles to know where you're going to find the facts that you need, and much more!

Take reading that vacuum manual I mentioned a moment ago.  You're not going to take the time to read about how to change the bag in your vacuum if what you're trying to do is figure out why it won't suck up dirt and pet hair up properly.  Instead, you'll look at the table of contents to see where that issue will be addressed within the manual and cut right to the chase.

We read nonfiction differently than we read fiction texts, and because of that, we have to TEACH reading nonfiction differently.

Here are 5 ideas for teaching nonfiction reading to your students so that they can effectively learn the skill and apply it to their daily life.


1 Simple Way to Encourage Your Students to Read a Variety of Genres

We like what we like.

I will ALWAYS order the same chicken dish at my favorite Indian restaurant.  It's delicious and it's not worth the risk to order something different and end up not liking it.  Plus the gazillion options on the menu overwhelm me and I just don't feel like taking the time to review each item.

Are you like that, too?  It's human nature to gravitate toward what we know we will like.  But - if I'm being honest, every time I order take-out from said restaurant, I wonder what I'm missing.

In fact, I recently did learn what I was missing when my husband's co-worker from India made the MOST AMAZING Indian dish to share.  My hubby brought some home...I tried it...and LOVED IT!  I had been missing out...BIG time!  Don't get my wrong - I'm not abandoning my oldie-but-goodie menu option, but now I have TWO options to order from the next time we do take-out.

So why am I talking about Indian food?

Simple really - it's all about trying something new - a new reading genre to be exact.

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