Fiction versus Non-fiction a fun active way to teach ( Distance Learning or Classroom)


Either gather up a selection of books in your home or classroom or have your child pick books off the bookshelf. 

* Ask your child to sort them into piles

Once they have done this ask them how they chose to sort them.

This is a discovery phase. It will be interesting to see what categories they are using to do their sorting.  

Ask your child questions:

  • Why did they sort the books the way they sorted them?
  • Could they think of another way to sort them?
  • What is their biggest pile?
  • Why do they think this is their biggest pile?

 If they have not sorted them into fiction versus non-fiction (and this truly may be likely). You tell them there is another way to sort the books. Take the books and put them in piles of fiction versus non-fiction. 

 Have your child tell you what they notice about the piles.  What is the same about the books in the piles? 

 After they have told you what they notice, talk to them about fiction and nonfiction, and fill in the missing information.



  • Not real
  • Author’s imagination
  • Illustrations
  • Animals do things that  people do
  • Story Grammar: characters, setting, plot, beginning, middle, end.
  • Tells a story
  • There can be imaginary characters ( fairies, unicorns, cartoon characters)
  • Point of view ( first person, I, me….. third person he, she)



  • Real
  • Gives facts
  • Photographs
  • Text Features: Captions on pictures, table of contents, glossary, index, may have maps

You don’t need to get too deep into it as it should be more of a discussion about books.  

 You might find that you have a great deal of a certain kind of book. One of the changes, when they went into the new standards, is that there was a switch to non-fiction books. Whereas most books read in the classroom were in the past primarily fiction, the standards have us making sure that we are doing as much non-fiction as fiction. I usually like to pair my fiction books with something that is true or non-fiction.


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