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					WELCOME to “Teaching
Non-Fiction: Increasing
Comprehension and
Improving Writing”
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LOOK
AT THE TEXTS AROUND THE
ROOM.

DO NOT STEAL THEM, PLEASE!
Teaching Non-Fiction:
Increasing Comprehension
and Improving Writing
Abbey Dick
New England Association of Teachers
of English
November 3, 2012
1145 to 100
Goals for Today
Make the case for more
 informational texts in the ELA
 classroom (even pre-Common Core)
Where to find it.
What to do with it.
How more informational text leads
 to better reading AND writing                                                 3




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
AP Language and Composition
Summer Reading: Malcolm X, An
 American Childhood, Fast Food
 Nation, Writers on Writing

In class: Nickel and Dimed, The
 Bedford Reader, Strunk and White,
 Sicko, In Cold Blood                                                          4




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Informational Text in
Assessments Right Now
MCAS—at least 50%
AP—50% (AP Language—11th grade)
SAT—90%
SAT Subject Tests—95%
AccuPlacer—100%
PARCC Sample Items—about 50%
                                                                               5
NECAP—11th grade is 50%
              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The New Lingo
In the past
   “fiction” and “non-fiction”
NOW
   “narrative” and “informational text”
Also, ELA teachers may use
    “literary non-fiction” in addition
    to “informational text”                                                      6




                Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Literary/Creative Non-Fiction
In Cold Blood
EB White’s “Once More to the Lake”
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Things They Carried
Less information, more description
Memoir
                                                                                7




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Common Core Reading Shift




                                                                             8




            Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Common Core Writing Shift




                                                                             9




            Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Changes in a Student’s Day: OLD
Class     Sci   Phys.   SS         Math         Study ELA                  Span.
                Ed.
Amount                  10% of                                90%
  of                    total                                 of
Reading                                                       total
                        all NF
                                                              80% F

                                                              10%
                                                              NF


                                                                                         10




                        Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Changes in a Student’s Day: NEW
Class   Sci    Phys.   SS         Math         Study ELA                  Span.
               Ed.

Amount 15% I   10% I   15% I      10% I                      30% N 10% I
  of
Reading                                                      10% I
                                                             or
                                                             “lit.
                                                             NF”



                                                                                        11




                       Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
You can still love literature!




                                                                               12




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why do we resist non-fiction?
We only know how to use it as a
 supplement, not as a text to teach
We love literature!
We don’t have any.
We hope someone else is doing it.
We think we don’t have time.
                                                                                13




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why is non-fiction great?
Can relate to real-world themes,
 topics, and events.
Can build significant background
 knowledge gaps.
Can engage more students.
They may never read a novel again
 in college.                                                                   14




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why is non-fiction great?
Can seriously expand the modes
 your students use to write, once they
 see models (pages 3 and 6 of packet)
Can open up a world of writing
 assignments
Can expose students to different
 genres (speech, essays, letters,                                               15

 argument)
               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why is non-fiction great?
More close reading of non-fiction
 texts (rhetorical analysis) can give
 students more tools to improve their
 own writing
Many opportunities for audio,
 media, technology, graphic
 representation, etc.                                                           16




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Where to find more . . .
Books of essays and CNN Student News
 speeches               National Geographic
The Globe/other         for Kids
 papers                 Tween Tribune
Kelly Gallagher’s AoW College Board/DESE
Time for Kids          School and public
Weekly Reader           libraries
Sports Illustrated for Newsletters in the
                                                                                   17
 Kids                    mail

                  Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
What to do with it
Teach Rhetorical Vocabulary—this is
 “academic language” (pages 4 and 5)
Teach the models of discourse (model and
 imitate)
Work non-fiction in any way you can (pair with
 literature)
Fun Reading/Summer Reading
Bring in real world examples of argument and
 purposeful writing                                                                 18




                   Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
How do to rhetorical analysis
Pages 4-11
1. Find a passage.
2. Label the paragraphs and make
   ample space.
3. Provide a list of verbs and/or
   paragraph bridges
4. Have students label and discuss                                              19




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Rhetorical analysis questions
1. Why is the author telling us this?
2. What is the author leaving out?
3. Why type of evidence is he/she
   using and from where?
4. Is the main idea implied or stated
   directly?
5. Why is this piece noteworthy?                                                20




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Improve Writing
Once you’ve done rhetorical analysis,
 it’s hard to justify the five-paragraph
 essay:
1.   Author introduces an argument
2.   Author provides an example
3.   Author provides an example
4.   Author provides an example
                                                                                    21
5.   Author restates argument
                   Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
SOAPSTone Analysis
Pages 13 and 14
The acronym gives a framework for
 analyzing non-fiction texts.
Use the graphic organizer before
 writing about a nonfiction text.
Use for everything (art, posters,
 propaganda, commercials)                                                      22




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
SAP Writing Assignment
Three paragraphs every time:
1. Summarize—main idea, what
   happened
2. Analyze—deeper look, what do
   the parts contribute
3. Personalize—connect to a text or                                              23

   to the world (limit text to self)
                Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Devil’s Advocate
“Why I Ride without a Bike
 Helmet,” by Nick Olender
“Voting is a right, but it’s not a
 duty,” by Jeff Jacoby
“College is a Waste of Time and
 Money,” by Caroline Bird
                                                                                 24




                Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why Appendix B is Awesome
Provides lists of texts:
Stories
Drama
Poetry
Informational texts: ELA
Informational texts: HSS
                                                                               25
Informational texts: SMTS
              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why Appendix B is Awesome
Also provides
Samples from the texts
Performance Assessments using the
 texts (ideas for assignments)
More than Shakespeare and
 foundational American texts
                                                                               26




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Why Appendix B is Awesome
Also provides
Lots of non-fiction ideas for authors
 and texts
Academic vocabulary in context
How to use new content literacy
 standards (beyond the textbook!)
                                                                                27




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Samples of Appendix B Texts
Grade 6-8:
Tom Sawyer
“Eleven”
Travels with Charley
Freedom Walkers
The Number Devil: A Mathematical
                                                                              28
 Adventure
             Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Samples of Appendix B Texts
Grade 9-10:
The Metamorphosis
Macbeth
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True
 Story
                                                                               29
Lincoln, Roosevelt, MLK, Reagan
              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Samples of Appendix B Texts
Grade 11-CCR:
Jane Eyre
The Namesake
Hamlet
Thoreau, Emerson, Paine, Orwell
Gladwell, Gawande
                                                                               30




              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Sample Performance Assessment
6-8
Students provide an objective
  summary of Frederick Douglass’s
  narrative. They analyze how the
  central idea regarding the evils of
  slavery is conveyed through
  supporting ideas and developed over                                           31
  the course of the text. (page 93)
               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Sample Performance Assessment
9-10
Students determine the purpose and
  point of view in MLK’s “I Have a
  Dream” speech and analyze how
  King uses rhetoric (the resources of
  language?) to advance his position.
  (page 130)                                                                     32




                Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Sample Performance Assessment
11-CCR
Students analyze how the key term
  “success” is interpreted, used, and
  refined over the course of GK
  Chesterton’s essay “The Fallacy of
  Success.” (page 171)
                                                                                 33




                Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
What makes an assignment more
Core?




                                                                             34




            Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
What makes an assignment more
Core?
Analysis (taking apart) or synthesis
 (putting together)
Combining literary and
 informational
Making an argument and
 supporting it with evidence
                                                                                35
Have (or create) a real situation
               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
What makes an assignment more
Core?

Adding media (videos, music, art,
 visual texts)
Incorporate the language on
 academic language sheet
Text-based questions and writing
 from reading                                                                   36




               Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
What makes an assignment more
Core?
Comparing and contrasting two
 views of one idea (pages 11-12)
Writing that acknowledges
 contradictory evidence
Anything that distinguishes HOW
 something was written and WHY
                                                                               37
 (not just WHAT it says)
              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Cool new resource
Writing Standards
in Action project:

www.doe.mass.edu/
candi/wsa
                     38
Join my Blog or email me:

      aldick@doe.mass.edu

http://gbdsacliteracy.blogspot.com/

 Link to Web sites I’ve mentioned:
                                                                               39
          http://urli.st/Rvb
              Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

				
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