Pair Fiction Reading with Nonfiction Resources
Create a list of the fiction resources you use in your classroom. Examine the topics covered. Think about your student's prior knowledge and information needs. Build a pathfinder containing nonfiction resources that can be used during class discussions and reading activities. These don't need to be major connections. Seek connections to characters and settings.
Questions for Paired Reading
- What are the differences between writing style of fiction and nonfiction?
- How is the information different in the fiction you read, compared to the nonfiction titles? How is it the same?
- What kinds of information did you learn from fiction texts that you couldn’t learn from nonfiction?
- What kinds of information did you learn from factual texts that you didn’t find in the stories you read?
- Why are there differences in stories about the same historical topic?
After students have answered these questions, come together and discuss them as a group. Then have students write original short stories about the topics they explored.
Primary Activity. Compare the covers of fiction and nonfiction book on the same topic. Can you tell whether a book is fiction or nonfiction by the title and cover? Why or why not? What clues do the title and cover provide? How will you decide if a book is fiction or fact?
All Grades Activity. How is the content of a fiction and nonfiction book alike and different? Compare two books, then make generalizations. For instance, read Little Bear and compare it to nonfiction books on real bears.
Intermediate Activity. How are fiction and nonfiction books organized differently? Read aloud a fiction and nonfiction book on the same topic. As a class, create a story plot graph or character graph for the fiction book and a topical organizer for a book. Then, ask students to create one for their two books.
Intermediate Activity. Ask students to examine how whether the images match the text of the book. What additional images would they include? Why? Refer to specific page numbers and passages.
Middle School Activity. How is the author's process and writing technique different from fiction and nonfiction?
Consider building a pathfinder for your resources and activities:
- Exploring Molly's World
- Kit Kittredge
- Fact and Fiction: The Great War
- Myths and Monsters: Percy Jackson Books
Pair Adventure Fiction with Nonfiction
Disasters (Grade 4)
- Disaster Pairs
- Teaching Ideas
Everest (Grade 5)
- Gordon Korman's Everest Trilogy: The Contest, The Climb, The Summit
- The Young Adventurers' Guide to Everest (Google FULL VIEW) by Jonathan Chester
- Pathfinder - Everest Pathfinder
Pair Historical Fiction and Nonfiction
Award Winning Historical Fiction. Go to the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction website. Read an historical fiction book. Brainstorm questions about the time period and use works of nonfiction to find the answers.
- Read Island of the Blue Dolphins and learning about the time period and culture. Learn more at Explore Island of the Blue Dolphin.
- Why & How I Teach with Historical Fiction By Tarry Lindquist
- Use Inspiration - Fictionalized History Template
Plagues and Disease.
- Infectious Diseases, Illness and Epidemics in Historical Fiction (PDF)
- When the Plague Strikes: The Black Death, Smallpox, and AIDS
- A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver
Japanese Internment Camps.
Pair Animal Fiction with Nonfiction
Download Zany Zookeeper (PPT). This activity combines fiction and nonfiction activities.
Pig. Babe: The Gallant Pig and All Pigs are Beautiful
Bats. Bats: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and Bats by Celia Bland and Going Batty
Snails. Snails- Fact and Fiction
Snakes. Snakes are Cool
Snow. Let's Build a Snowman
Pair Science Fiction with Nonfiction Resources
- Science Fiction Pairs
- Suggested Science Fiction Texts (PDF)
- Teaching Ideas
Fiction with Nonfiction Pairings
The following book list was adapted from Deanne Camp and others:
- Grades K-4
- Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall and Apples of Your Eye by Allan Fowler
- Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold and Wanted Dead or Alive: The True Story of Harriet Tubman by Ann McGovern
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids by Seymour Simon
- The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Suess and Always to Remember: The Story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Brent & Jennifer Ashabranner
- Flatfoot Fox by Eth Clifford and Foxes by Emilie U. Lepthien
- The Foot Book by Dr. Suess and What Neat Feet by Hana Machotka
- Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel and Amazing Frogs and Toads by Barry Clarke
- A Happy Tale by Dorothy Butler and Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Amelia Earhart by Corinne Szabo
- I'm Going to Be a Firefighter by Edith Kunhardt and Fire! by Joy Masoff
- Listen Buddy by Helen Lester and Communication by Aliki
- The Maestro Plays by Bill Martin Jr. and What Instrument Is This by Rosmarie Hausherr
- Old Bear by Jane Hissey and How Teddy Bears Are Made by Ann Morris
- Postcards from Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System by Loreen Leedy and Do Stars Have Points? by Melvin & Gilda Berger
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert and Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
- The Tree That Would Not Die by Ellen Levin and A Tree is Growing by Arthus Dorros
- Whales by Cynthia Rylant and Whales by John Bonnett Wexo
- Grades 4-8
- The Egypt Game by Zilpha K. Snyder and Pyramids by Anne Millard
- Hiroshima by Laurence Yep and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
- Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen and To Be A Slave by Julius Lester.
- A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl by Patricia McKissack and Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks with Jim Haskins
- Thunder on the Tennessee by G. Clifton Wisler and A Nation Torn Apart by Delia Ray
- Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady by Ellen E. White and Ghost Liners by Robert D. Ballard
- West to Opportunity: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi by Jim Murphy and Children of the Wild West by Russell Freedman
Twins Texts Ideas from Deanne Camp
- Venn Diagram. Create a Venn Diagram comparing Grace from Amazing Grace with Ruby from The Story of Ruby Bridges.
- K-W-L. Read Stellaluna and complete the Know column. Complete the Want to Know column. Read the Bat book. Complete the Learned column.
- DR-TA/DL-TA. Complete the Directed Reading-Thinking Activity. Write about: What do you think the story/chapter will be about? Why do you think so? The reading continues. Compare the book covers of Old Bear with the book cover of How Teddy Bears Are Made. Children wrote a story about their own bear using factual information.
- Webbing. Start a web with main headings. While reading the fictional story such as The Whales, add words. While reading the factual story Whales, add relationships and terminology.
- Activate Prior Knowledge. Begin with a discussion of a time period or setting. While reading the fiction book using the nonfiction book to answer questions, provide visual support, or provide examples. For example the nonfiction book Ghost Liners provide photographs, maps, and information about early 1900s to help children better understand the context of the fiction book Titanic.