Wrapping up our first Non-Fiction Unit: CHARTS!!

I'm proud of actually blogging multiple days so far in this new year! I'm not going to promise that it'll keep up like this, but I've enjoyed it! Blogging helps me to be creative and I do have to say, it makes me proud to be able to document the learning of my students and share them with other people. I really love my job, and blogging has allowed me to build on that love through sharing it with others, so thanks- thanks for sharing your ideas, giving me feedback on my own, and supporting me.

Ok- I wasn't planning on starting this post like that, but something just came over me... lol!

Now onto the actual topic: Non-Fiction!

We just ended our first major non-fiction unit, which focuses largely just on what the genre is and some main strategies to be successful in reading non-fiction. We will be going into a non-fiction unit that focuses on reading for research with the topic on countries! It's a short unit, but really fun! Since I have quite a few students with ties to other countries outside the US, they naturally invest in this unit and are so excited to share new things they learned. We also have a biography specific non-fiction unit as well that comes later in the year.

I did many of these charts last year {check them out here}, but my students this year came in with a pretty great grasp for text features, so our chart and our work around text features was quite different. They didn't need the visual examples as much as my group last year. That's one thing I love about teaching- you get to try things in different ways based on different classes each year!

Here was how our focus wall turned out by the end of this unit. We slowly added charts, added ideas to charts, and referenced them throughout the 3 or so weeks.

We went with the tagline: "Readers REV UP their minds for Non-Fiction by..."I tried my best to draw a little motorcycle and whenever we read the teaching point with my students, we acted it out by "revving" pretend motorcycles in the air. We didn't cover all these ideas in one day. We slowly added to this chart over the first week or so.

I did a scavenger hunt activity to see what they knew about text features, which made me realize they can identify them pretty easily. Clearly communicating why the author included that feature to help us understand the topic was a bit harder.  So we made this chart over a few days.

We then focused a good week on various context clues. With my EL cluster, it is really important that they have strategies to solve content specific words. We covered one of these strategies each day during mini-lesson and often practiced in small groups, read aloud, and independent reading.

We also did a lot of work on main idea and details. They practiced on daily exit slips that we as a team created to monitor their progress. It worked out really well!! I'll post how we tackled main idea and details in a post tomorrow!

Enjoy your Sunday Funday!



  1. I love your charts! So bright and colorful, but full of information to help students. Thanks for sharing, Kelli! :)


    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Catherine! It took us a good 3 weeks to create all of it, but it was very resourceful and fun to be able to look back on all we learned and accomplished :)


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