Reading Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction

  • The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.

    As students read different genres, they may not realize the different demands that are being placed on them as readers.  Understanding the demands different genres place on them helps students identify what they should do to form meaning from the text.  Remind students of SOME of the different types of thinking they can engage in while reading fiction and non-fiction.

     What Readers Should Do When Reading Fiction:

    • Think about which character(s) are telling the story or if it is told by a narrator.  Consider if the point of view affects what the reader knows.
    • Look for figurative/descriptive language and consider how that affects the reader's enjoyment/understanding.
    • Identify the problem or conflict.
    • Understand the theme and author's message
    • Think about characters by how they act, what they look like, what they think or say and what other characters think or say about them.
    • Follow the plot and main events.

    What Readers Should Do When Reading Non-Fiction:

    • SLOW DOWN!
    • Consider the author's qualifications and bias on the topic
    • Use the text features such as pictures, captions, index, glossary, maps, diagrams, ect. to fully understand the meaning of the text.
    • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
    • Identify main points and how they are supported.
    • Identify and use the organizational structure of the text to help guide meaning.
    • Consider what you know, want to know, and what you have learned throughout your reading.