The 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: A Tactical Deep Dive with FREE DOWNLOADS

The importance of teaching students to read nonfiction has never been more clear. To summarize NCTE’s Position Statement: “It is a rich and compelling genre that . . . empowers young people in the face of current and emerging challenges locally and globally, such as racial, cultural, social, and economic injustice, censorship and disinformation, and the climate crisis. In the urgency of this moment, nonfiction for young people has never been more vibrant or vital.”

We also adored the recent 3-part series on nonfiction from SLJ. Read on to get book recommendations and free downloads that support using the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction with your readers!

SLJ’s first article covers the basics about the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction and how they can be integrated into existing curriculum to engage readers and grow literacy.

That’s a great background, and you can dive deeper into the framework in The Five Kinds of Nonfiction by Melissa Stewart and Marlene Correia. We’ve also put together a detailed overview of the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction and a checklist you can use to audit your collection.

The second article in SLJ’s series focuses on how text structures make Expository Literature one of the top most popular kinds of books among children. Their overview includes great activities that can be used in your classroom or library.

You can find examples of our books for each of the text structures:

Text StructureRelevant Titles & Series
A series of questions and answers guide readers through the book’s content.
Eye by Eye, Whose Hands Are These
Focuses on how two or more creatures, ideas, behaviors, events, or phenomena are similar to and different from one another
Bumba Books® — Past and Present, The Crayola® Comparing Sizes Book

Describes a problem and presents a solution
Make Way for Animals, One Plastic Bag
Cause & Effect:
Describes the outcome or result of a particular event, phenomenon, or behavior
If We Were Gone, Dead Zones
Provides an overview of a topic by describing major characteristics, features, and/or examples
Operation Pangolin, Like a Bird
Presents events or processes in the order they happened.
How to Make a Book about My Dog, The Story of Ice Cream
The book’s main idea is presented on the first spread, and each subsequent page or spread offers an example to support that idea. A concluding spread may summarize the content, link back to the opening, or offer a fun twist on the topic.
Odd Bods, Play Like an Animal

The third article in SLJ’s series dives into how list books can help students learn to write a five-paragraph essay. As you look for ways to implement the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction in your classroom or library, here are some additional resources you can use:

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