Lesson Plan:

Be a Nonfiction Detective!

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November 22, 2016
by Laura Gonzalez
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November 22, 2016
by Laura Gonzalez

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to preview a nonfiction book searching for a variety of text features which will facilitate comprehension.


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Gather students at the rug and tell them that today you would like to read them a nonfiction book. Quickly review what nonfiction is. Tell students that even though someone can read all the words in a book it doesn’t mean they will understand everything they read. That why it’s important to get your brain ready to read by looking for clues. This is called previewing.
  • Tell students that today they will be nonfiction detectives and, luckily, nonfiction books have some special features where readers can look for clues. List them on the board: Title, Table of Contents, Visuals, Headings.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

Show students the book you have chosen to read to them. Model looking for clues before reading, e.g.:

  • The title gives me a clue that this book is going to be about _____.
  • In the table of contents, I notice that _____.
  • Wow! The pictures show me that _____.
  • I think that this part is going to tell me about ____ because the heading says ____.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (5 minutes)

  • Fill out the projected version of the previewing worksheet with students. Show them how to make quick notes rather than writing out full sentences.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Send students off with their choice of nonfiction book, a partner, and a worksheet. Before they begin to read they should preview the book with their partner and fill out the worksheet. Then they should read together.



Everyone should choose books at their own independent reading level.


Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Circulate as children are reading and ask them to reflect on what they thought they might learn during their previewing and what they actually read.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Choose a few pairs of students to share with the class an idea that a certain text feature gave them and how it compared with what they actually read.

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