What do strong readers of nonfiction do? Strong readers…

What do strong readers of nonfiction do?
Strong readers…
 Read a lot of nonfiction, especially multiple books about the same topic
 Rev up their minds for reading – by previewing a section by checking out its text features (captions,
headings, bold print, diagrams, charts, table of contents, glossary), and then thinking, “What do I
think this text is mostly going to be about?”
 Revise their thinking about a book, based on new information from the reading
 Organize what they are learning into “boxes” and “bullets” – main ideas and supporting details
 Read with a pencil, so that they can jot notes about main ideas & details, and/or summarize what
they read
 Read, noticing when they add new information about a topic to information they already know
about that topic
 While they are reading, think and revise their thinking, in order to decide, “What is this (section of
text) all about?” It may help to think, “This author wants to teach me that…”
 Talk about texts to “grow ideas” about them – texts might change our minds, extend our thinking,
and/or affect our lives.
 Think about whether a text is narrative nonfiction (biographies, texts with mini-stories, letters, diary
entries) or expository nonfiction (facts, all-abouts) – and how to navigate through both of these
types of texts
 Remember that all authors write their books to convey ideas, and readers must always be on the
lookout for the unifying idea behind the texts we read – they must make meaning out of all of the
parts of their books.
 Notice how figurative language (like similes and metaphors) helps us to think and envision more
deeply about books.
 When reading a biography, think about, “ Somebody…. wanted… but… so…” (considering character
traits, struggles, motivations, problems) – and then grow theories about what was really important
about that person’s life
 Remember that biographies are usually “disaster” or “achievement” stories – in which characters
solve their problems or make decisions about how to proceed. Often, there are universal lessons to
be learned from the life events of the main character.
 Expect that narrative nonfiction books will teach us facts about a subject, as well as sharing the
stories in them.
 Notice that some nonfiction texts look different, using a mix of narrative and expository text
structures. In a hybrid text, we should stop and pay attention to the narrative features (eg: a letter, a
diary entry or a photograph), and ask, “What is this section teaching me? How does it fit in with what
I have already read? Why would the author include this?”
 Think about how the author thinks and believes. Readers are aware that authors want to teach us
things and instill feelings. What does this author want me to feel or think? How does this author go
about trying to make me feel or think in a particular way?
 Notice and look for an author’s point of view and biases.