Today I want to share a powerful lesson that can be used at any elementary grade level. The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand the different approaches readers use to interact with fiction and non-fiction texts. When teaching this concept, it's fun if you have an actual apple and orange.
Ask two students to come up and give one of them an apple and the other an orange, then tell them to show the class how they eat this fruit. The student with the apple will be able to bite right into it; while the student with the orange will be busy peeling the orange and breaking it into sections. If you don't have an actual fruit, you could just have students describe the steps involved in eating these fruits.
Discuss the difference in approach with the students, then explain that fiction books are like apples. You just bite right in and enjoy; while non-fiction books are like oranges, you need to do a bit of preparation before you enjoy it. You look at the table of contents, the pictures and captions, you might check the index to find the specific pages you want to read. Non-fiction books are arranged into sections. Depending on your purpose, you might only read one or two of the sections in the book.
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