Lesson plan

Knowledge Charting

Using charts is a great way to see similarities, differences, and information. This visual lesson will help all students see what can be gained from nonfiction and fiction texts.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting different types of knowledge they gained from nonfiction and fiction texts.

(5 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Draw a picture of a blank Venn diagram on the board. Ask students what they remember about Venn Diagrams. (Depending on past student experience using Venn diagrams, they may be quick to point out how it compares and contrasts two ideas/subjects or they might require some guiding towards this.)
  • Next, ask students what they remember about nonfiction writing. What makes it special or unique?
  • After asking about nonfiction writing, ask students what they remember about fiction writing. What makes it different from nonfiction writing? What is unique to it?
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Finding Out About Fiction and Nonfiction worksheets to all of the students.
  • Explain to students the titles under each section of the diagram. Inform students that they will need to identify whether or not a text is fiction or nonfiction in order to appropriately fill in the diagram. Ask students to choose one of the fiction books from the collection of rain/water books.
  • Open the book, read part of it to the class, and then as a class decide on one or two facts/ideas to add to the fiction side of the Venn diagram. Have students write these on their individual worksheets.
  • Repeat this same process with a nonfiction book of choosing a book, reading part of it, and then deciding on some fact(s) to add to the nonfiction side of the Venn diagram.
  • Ask students if they heard any similar things in both stories. If so, put these in the middle of the diagram.
(5 minutes)
  • Divide students up into small groups. Assign each of the groups one of the books.
  • First, have the students in the group identify whether or not the book is fiction or nonfiction. After students have identified the type of text, have students look through the book for something(s) they can include on their Venn diagrams.
  • Call students back together to share their findings and notes with the class. Make sure that every group has a chance to share and seems to understand the concept of how to find information and place it on the Venn diagram.
  • Ask if anyone has any final questions, and remind students of any applicable classroom rules before sending them to work independently.
(20 minutes)
  • While students are working independently or in small groups, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and redirecting students. It can be useful to have a central location for students to return resources like the books. Playing soft music can also help to keep the noise level down.
  • Support:For students who need some extra assistance, working in partners or small groups can provide a helpful scaffold. It can also be useful to allow students to use pictures on their Venn diagrams as another way to express thoughts. For English as a Second Language students, access to a bilingual dictionary or texts in their native language can be beneficial.
  • Enrichment:For students needing a greater challenge, encouraging them to write something either fiction or nonfiction based on the information in their Venn diagrams will enrich and extend the lesson.
(5 minutes)
  • Students can be informally assessed based on their participation in class discussions. Consider whether they are asking relevant, educated questions, and how engaged they are.
  • For a more formal assessment, the quality and number of entries on the Finding Out About Fiction and Nonfiction worksheet can be used.
  • Students can be assigned to fill out another Finding Out About Fiction and Nonfiction worksheet on another topic for homework. The quality and number of entries can be used to determine if the lesson objectives have been met.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Ask students to share the information on their charts. Do lots of people have the same information? What types of different information are included?
  • Have students think about the different types of information on each part of the chart. What are the differences?
  • Conclude by asking students whether they prefer fiction or nonfiction literature. Why?

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