#2ndaryELA Chat Summary: Nonfiction in the ELA Classroom

September 18, 2015

Middle and High School English Language Arts discuss nonfiction's role in the curriculum, types of nonfiction, resources for teaching nonfiction, and students' favorites. Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter.

Last week's #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about nonfiction in the ELA classroom. Middle and High School English Language Arts discussed nonfiction's role in the curriculum, types of nonfiction, resources for teaching nonfiction, and students' favorites. The highlights are below.

Ideas for incorporating nonfiction:
*Expose students to variety of nonfiction formats: speech, government documents, biography, autobiography, articles, etc. on topics of interest to students
*Read graphs/charts/images as well for media literacy standard
*Have students make info graphics using piktochartcanva, and visual.ly
*Include at least one nonfiction piece with each novel you read
*Make each student a copy of the nonfiction so they can mark it up with pen, highlighter, and sticky notes OR use those clear sheet protectors (cut in half) over the text to mark with dry erase markers and erase OR have students take pictures of the text with their phone and mark with the app Skitch

Nonfiction resources:
*Samples units of nonfiction paired with fiction
*Graph of the Week with questions and new graphs each week
*Newsela - current event articles (5 different levels of each article)
*Scholastic - lesson plans & resources (be sure to check out the Daily Starters)
*Junior Scholastic - social studies/current events magazine
*The New York Times The Learning Network blog
*The Nonfiction Minute - short article & audio version with ideas for teaching
*Common Lit - provides readings (fiction and nonfiction) grouped by theme, level and essential questions
*Kelly Gallagher Article of the Week with new articles each week
*ReadWorks.org - reading passages organized by level, skill/strategy
*Smithsonian Tween Tribune - current event articles with quizzes (different grade and Lexile levels)
*Wonderopolis - articles (with audio), activities, quizzes based on intriguing questions

For more nonfiction resources:

Hope you'll join us next Tuesday September 22nd at 8pm EST to discuss grading & marking strategies in the ELA classroom. The questions for next week's chat will be posted here on Sunday. If you missed last Tuesday night's chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

You Might Also Like


  1. Getting a lot of good ideas from reading these posts - thanks!

  2. Sharon,
    Teachers best resources are definitely each other. Hope you'll join our Twitter chats soon!
    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven