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Analyze Genres of Nonfiction

Young people need to be able to go to the best resource to solve a problem or address an issue. From books and posters to websites, students need to be able to identify the purpose of works and select the best resource for the job. Older children need to be able identify bias and the author's perspective. Use evaluation tools and checklists to assist in this work.

Genre: Categories of Nonfiction

Young people need experiences working with a wide range of nonfiction materials. Check out a list of nonfiction types and definitions at wikipedia.

Let's explore some of the different types of nonfiction.

Focus on Databases. Databases, identification keys, and collections provide key word access to information. By using search words or making choices, records of information are presented to users. Children need to learn how to search and select information to meet their need.

Focus on Historical Documents. Most well-known historical documents are available online.

Historical Documents (K-12 students). Easy-to-read versions transcriptions of the original documents.

Historical Documents from National Archives. The best source for digital reproductions of the documents.

Focus on Labels. Young people need to be able to read a wide range of labels. Explore the web for examples. Here are a few. Use bubbles in Powerpoint for explanations. Or, complete math activities based on serving sizes.

Focus on Periodicals. Explore print magazines, but also consider activities with online magazines.

Focus on News Sources

Focus on Reference. Explore print and online reference resources including dictionaries and almanacs.

Focus on First Hand Accounts. Whether witnessing an historic event or telling the story of a scientific discovery, first hand accounts are some of the most exciting types of nonfiction resources. Some stories are told in diaries or journals, while others are learned through interviews.

Focus on Biography. Because there are endless biography resources available to young people. Focus on making comparisons.

Write a Biography from Time for Kids

Biography Writing from Scholastic

Focus on Letters. Explore a wide variety of letters and other types of communications such as email.

Nonfiction Across the Curriculum

English and Science Standards. As you examine the standards, look for connections with nonfiction reading experiences.

Science for a New Generation. It's been a long time since our parents were in middle school. How much has changed? Let's explore scientific news resources and share something that's changed in the past 10, 20, or 30 years. Focus on science blogs and magazines for information about the latest scientific discoveries. Compare articles on the same topic.

Young People as Consumers. The purpose of some websites and print materials is to provide consumer information to assist people in making decisions about purchases.

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