Friday, March 30, 2018

Classifying Nonfiction: Activities for Students

Normally, I don’t post on school holidays, but the response to my Nonfiction Family Tree has been so positive, that I wanted to sneak in one more post in March.

Thank you to all the educators who have sent me photos and feedback about introducing the 5 categories to your students and inviting them to sort titles using the system. I love how Tamra Snell (@tamra_snell), a school librarian in Pflugerville, TX, created cards with the characteristics students should be on the lookout for as they classify books. See them in this photo?
And that made me realize that I should create slides to help both students and educators. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

If you’d like copies of these slides, please email me or PM me via Twitter or Facebook. They can help students as they do the activities you'll find here and here.


  1. I love this. I am attempting a narrative nonfiction but realizing I don't have a true narrative arc. What's fascinating is determining how I can make one with the information available on the topic.

    1. Yes, that's the most significant challenge involved in writing narrative nonfiction. And, in the end, sometimes it just isn't possible. Sometimes the information you would need just doesn't exist. But then you may be able to look at the information through other lenses and try to craft a manuscript with either a narrative or an expository writing style. Good luck!