Do you need another way to build excitement and enjoyment of learning for your students? Try pairing fiction and nonfiction texts. Most of my career has been in teaching reading in the primary grades. This year I am teaching English as a Second Language and loving it!
- How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
- Dinosaurs by Gail Gibbons
- Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
- A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman by David A. Adler
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
- Ducks! by Gail Gibbons
- Verdi by Janell Cannon
- Pythons: Fun Facts & Pictures For Kids by Lilly Carle
1. Pre-teach vocabulary words. (3-5 words)
2. Complete a KWL anchor chart or KWL printable on the subject about which the children are reading.
What do you know?
What do you want to find out?
What did you learn?
3. Have the students read the texts. You may choose what best meets the needs of your students.
- Interactive Read Aloud
- Partner Reading
- Guided Reading
4. Have the children complete a story map or plot summary of the fiction book.
5. Have the children fill in the KWL after reading the nonfiction text.
6. Complete a Venn diagram or graphic organizer comparing the two texts.
7. Compare and contrast in writing how the two are alike and different.
Our English Language Learners may need to be supported by using sentence frames.
Pairing fiction and nonfiction provides rigor in your classroom! It enhances your students’ reading comprehension, expands their vocabulary, knowledge, and interests, and builds great excitement for learning! It is effective no matter what grade you teach. You might want to give it a try.
Please enjoy for free: Verdi! Compare and Contrast Verdi with a real Python! (Paired Reading!)
Jill is an ESL teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love is teaching reading in the primary grades. She has been teaching for over 25 years in both private and public schools. She has been a literacy teacher for grades K-5, an early education director, a literacy facilitator, and a classroom teacher of kindergarten, first, and second grades. Find Jill on TPT and on Facebook.