Nonfiction Reading Strategies

The majority of what we read throughout life is nonfiction, for example, news articles about 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 to students can be very difficult. There are so many moving parts: structure, dictionary usage, and recognizing text features. For example, let’s think about reading the kitchen appliance manual that was mentioned earlier. It will take you quite some time to read the whole manual to figure out why the appliance stopped working. To make the process easier and more efficient, you are most likely going to refer to the table contents to determine where to find troubleshooting information. This skill is one your students need to learn. Click the link to find fun ideas to teach students how to read and write nonfiction.

The Common Care State Standards (CCSS) as well as other state standards have set expectations to increase the amount of nonfiction a student reads. Teachers are required to know the most suitable practices that aid students in accessing their knowledge and understanding of nonfiction reading and writing. Teachers can improve students’ access of text and increase learning by utilizing many strategies. One such strategy is rereading. Deeper understanding and learning occur with multiple opportunities to interact with the text. Students can then use this deeper knowledge to demonstrate their learning by expressing themselves verbally and in writing.

In order for students to become immersed in text, teachers must know the most effective techniques that will allow students to demonstrate understanding. One expectation is for students to support claims with specific evidence from the text. In order for them to master these skills; teachers will need to help them build skills incrementally.

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

Analyzing imagery for specific clues. Some students may have to review a picture multiple times for any clues to the meaning of the text, this takes practice. This is one part of “close reading” (currently a hot topic in education.) as students must learn to read a text closely and be able to recognize the concepts in the text.
Reasoning allows students to make interpretations and draw conclusions. This requires critical thinking skills. Students must determine what is both explicitly and not directly stated in the text.
Forge connections between knowledge. Students need to link between distinctive knowledge and text. It is more likely for students to develop deeper knowledge with increased text encounters while reading a variety of texts that include a vast range of topics and genres.

Freebie, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Teaching Strategies. 5 Ideas for Teaching Students How to Read Nonfiction. Retrieved from: