Beth's Blog

Just another site

Responding to Reading Through Writing- Nonfiction

Filed under: Uncategorized — andersem at 12:36 am on Thursday, November 1, 2012

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a literacy training on the Common CoreĀ for fourth grade provided by our county. At the training, they talked a long time about how reading and writing should be integrated. They stressed the importance of making sure students are spending equal time each day reading and writing. A great way to do this is to have students respond to their reading through writing. In my classroom we write in a readers notebook every day. Students use the skill that we talked about that day and apply it directly to their reading. This worked wonderfully for fiction because students were able to analyze the characters, make connections, find places they made an inference etc. However, I am having a harder time with non-fiction.

The rest of the year our curriculum is based significantly on non-fiction in both reading and writing. This is both exciting and scary at the same time. Non-fiction is something that students either love to read or hate to read. This week I have had a hard time keeping students engaged in their non-fiction texts, even though they are self-selected texts that are of their own interest. Another challenge that I have had is how students can respond to their reading through writing in their readers’ notebooks. We have talked about text features and text structure thus far. Text features were easy to write about because of their widespread availability. However, text structure has been difficult. Since many different text structures are present within one book, some students are having a hard time identifying text structure within their text. This brought about a lot of conversation within my team. We all had ideas but were not sold on any of them.

How do people get students to write about their non-fiction reading every day? They stressed the importance of students having to write about their reading every day, but I am having a hard time determining what is the best way to do so. Is there anyone who has had success with writing about non-fiction that could easily be modified for a fourth grade classroom?




November 1, 2012 @ 11:59 am   Reply

I know that I am not a fourth grade teacher, so technology I do not know exactly what to do but could you have them pick a topic in Non-Fiction, such as polar bears (example), and research that topic. Through that research they read in books and internet. Then they could write about that topic and present in to the class, which would incorporate speaking (Common Core). This is just an idea it might not help. Finding time for the students to write in my 1st grade class is hard as well. The students write about their writing as well but non-ficition is a scary concept, I agree completely. Good luck with finding more ideas!! I hope mine helps.



November 4, 2012 @ 4:09 pm   Reply

One way to maybe get students at least interested in non-fiction text is to have a theme. One week you may do a book on presidents and each student is reading a non-fiction book about a particular president. You could pair that with a whole class reading of a fictional book about presidents; maybe one that talks about the secret societies believed to be involved with the presidency. Students could the write about the similarities and differences between their individual non-fiction text and the whole class historical fiction text. Then you could make baby steps from this, until they are only responding to their non-fiction text. This could be a usable tactic, especially if you have the rest of your school year to focus on non-fiction and you don’t have to rush. I hope this helps!



November 5, 2012 @ 12:58 am   Reply

I know I am in first grade so this might not work out as well but hopefully you find it useful. I let a group read a non-fiction piece. Then as a group they write a “newspaper article” to teach the other students about what they leaned. I let them draw a picture to go along with their article. They seem to really enjoy it. We “publish” it in our room. I have thought about making a wall for our newspaper articles and it our classroom news. Just an idea.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>