Looking for nonfiction resources for high school students can take time. Free or paid, finding nonfiction that will help you meet standards and interest students can be an endless search.
I am continuously searching for appropriate nonfiction. I use Common Lit, but sometimes, I want my students off their iPads and not answering multiple choice questions. Plus, all of the answers are online for free!
I also desire my students to hone in on a topic, to really become impassioned about a topic that influences them. In my classroom library, I want to include nonfiction texts. My First Chapter Friday choices should also include nonfiction.
So! How can I include nonfiction naturally in my class? My ideas are below.
Keep your eyes open.
I came across a nonfiction resource today, and I think it will interest students. Many of our students focus on college. . . and for good reason: some will be there in four years or less.
Sure, I was intrigued when I read about Starbucks CEO announcing the company would pay for employee’s college tuition. I was skeptical, but excited.
Like many future teachers, I worked multiple jobs through college, and I still had loans. A boost would have been helpful. I continued reading about the free college assertion, because I wanted to know how true it was. It is true (with rules) and Starbucks employees are ready to get their educations.
Sure enough, my continued researching found an opposing viewpoint today. “Starbucks price hike” by Pat Schneider highlights:
Other analysts said the program fails to address systemic problems in higher education and financial aid, and even threatens to exacerbate them.
Include texts in your library.
One of the easiest way to incorporate nonfiction into your classroom is to display books for students. I’ve reviewed several memoirs and other pieces of nonfiction:
When I shop at thrift stores, I grab nonfiction “coffee table” books off the shelves. Those books are full of pictures and easily accessible information. I’ve discovered books about golf, cars, presidents, and animals. I even have a nonfiction book about animal waste, and it is one of the more popular books in my library.
Adding nonfiction books is a great way to naturally add informational texts to students’ reading diets.
Incorporate texts with literature.
You might teach more nonfiction than you credit yourself. Do you teach the background of stories, either the author’s life or pieces about the setting? For instance, when I teach Of Mice and Men, I pair articles from Steinbeck’s research concerning migrant workers.
When I teach a Shakespeare play, we read about Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare, and the play’s time period.
As you incorporate informational texts with literature, ensure that you are meeting standards. With a few additional questions or activities, you might be checking off more standards than you realize.
Finally, directly connect the facts to the literature. Students might not intentionally realize how that information influences the literature. Be sure to model realization of that connection.
If you’d like your first nonfiction activity for older students, complete the form below. I’ll send you an editable copy of what I use.