Reading activities for non-fiction books help teachers enhance their students’ learning in both reading and content areas. Students enjoy the break from textbooks. They also delight in the creativity provided by the activities.
Because many non-fiction books are historical, sequential events are found throughout the pages. Creative time-lines that include drawings of the events as well as significant words and dates help students organize the information into meaningful material.
Lap books are another tool a teacher can use to help students create booklets that they will want to keep and review. There are two options. The teacher can lay out the material based on the book if the entire class is using the same book. Students can be given a creative license to create their own material for the non-fiction material they are reading. A variety of templates can be found on the Internet on sites like Home School Share.
Use the Arts with non-fiction books. Let students choose which genre they want to use to share the materials in their book. Visual art can be used in a variety of ways. Posters, drawings, illustrations or paintings can be used to illuminate aspects of the book. Songs can be written about anything from history to science. Sharing the songs with the class by classroom performance, video or via an audio recording.
Plays and skits bring non-fiction information to life when they are created by and performed for students. Writing poetry is another activity that can be used to share the materials. It can also be used to assess whether students have a good understanding of the information.
Dioramas are the perfect tool for a student to use to create a piece of history. Scenes from battles, settings from historical events or other scientific discoveries can be displayed with a shoe box filled with the appropriate materials. Pictures can be cut out and worked into the diorama scenery.
Create a non-fiction book newspaper. Assign students different articles to write based on the information they are reading in their books. Include different sections in your newspaper. Editorials, home and garden and news articles will create another project that students will keep for years.
Crafts can also enhance lessons from non-fiction books. Create crafts that complement the materials. For example, if students are reading a book about Navajo Indians, make miniature Navajo rugs or pottery. Studies about Egyptians lend itself to activities such as mummy-making, hieroglyphics tablets or Egyptian jewelry.
Creative activities complement non-fiction books. Provide choices for your students and watch them learn and grow.