The majority of what we read throughout life is nonfiction. For example: news articles about the upcoming storms, manuals to figure out why the mixer stopped working, or street signs that help us get to where we need to go on a daily basis. Teaching nonfiction texts to students can be very difficult. There are so many moving parts: structure, dictionary usage, mentioning subtitles, and recognizing the different text features. For example, let’s take reading the kitchen appliance manual stated earlier. It will take you time to read and figure out why the appliance stopped working. So, you are most likely to refer to the table contents and see where and if you can find the problem to make things easier.

The Common Care State Standards (CCSS) as well as other states have set expectations to increase the amount of nonfiction a student reads. Teachers are required to know the most suitable practices that will aid students in accessing their knowledge and understanding with nonfiction reading and writing. Students show their understanding by expressing themselves verbally and in writing. Teachers can aid students through accessing the text and demonstrating learning utilizing many strategies. Deeper understanding and learning occur with multiple opportunities to interact with the text.

Nonfiction Reading Strategy

In order for teachers to get students immersed in text, teachers must know the most effective technique that will allow students to demonstrate understanding. Students are expected to support claims with specific evidence from the text. In order for them to master their skills; teachers will need to help them build these skills incrementally.

Here are three ways students can substitute their individual view for text evidence:

  1. Reading Pictures to gain insight for specific clues. (This can take time as every student learns at a different pace). They may have to reread the picture for any missing clues, so they have to be committed and practice. This can also be categorized as “close reading” which is a hot topic in education, as students must learn to read a text closely and be able to recognize the idea of the text.
  2. Reasoning allows students to make interpretations and draw conclusions so that they are able to utilize reasoning effectively. (This requires critical thinking). They need to be able to determine what is not clearly specified in the text.
  3. Forge connections between knowledge. (They need to link between distinctive knowledge and text). It is more likely for students to bring forth natural ability of text encounters, if they read from a variety of texts that includes a vast range of topics and genres.



Freebie, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Teaching Strategies. 5 Ideas for Teaching Students How to Read Nonfiction. Retrieved from: http://www.classroomnook.com/2017/02/teaching-nonfiction.html

Kim Pavuna

Author Kim Pavuna

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