Use the tips in this non-fiction writing lesson plan along with the free non-fiction book printable to build your own reference library.
Non-fiction writing lesson plan and printable book template
The first books we read with children are usually simple story books or collections of nursery rhymes.
As they get older and we read more and more to them, we typically do still keep to fiction books, although the storylines and characters develop in complexity.
Of course, there is a huge wealth of non-fiction books for our children to meet too. They’re fascinating, educational, and practical, and many titles aimed at children include fun elements such as tabs to pull and flaps to open, to make an engaging reading experience.
Let’s focus this lesson on the art of non-fiction books, and help our children write their own information book.
In this lesson, children can:
:: learn about non-fiction books
:: learn about the elements of a book including title, author, publisher, copyright, contents, index, and glossary
:: research a chosen topic
:: create their own non-fiction book using a free printable template as a guide
:: share their knowledge with others
:: examples of non-fiction books
:: printable non-fiction book template (see below for details on how to print)
:: pens and pencils
:: stapler or yarn
Get to know a non-fiction book
Begin by taking a closer look at non-fiction books.
Offer your children a selection of books to choose from: recipe books, information books, ‘how to’ manuals, and academic text books.
Choose a book to have a closer look at. Even if you are used to reading non-fiction your children might not have considered all the components of such a book.
Browse through the pages of your chosen book and take a look at:
:: front cover with title and author details
:: the spine
:: the front page with details of publisher and copyright
:: the contents page
:: the layout of the content with chapters and illustrations
:: a glossary, if there is one
:: the index
:: the blurb on the back cover
Talk about the purpose of your book and who it is written for. Is it meant to inform, teach, inspire or entertain? Is it aimed at a beginner or an expert?
Before you move on to writing your own non-fiction book, think about what a good information book needs.
Work together to come up with a list of ‘top tips’ for non-fiction writing. You can re-cap some of the ideas you talked about when you reviewed the non-fiction book example and add other thoughts.
You might include some of these top tips:
:: think about who you are writing the book for – don’t make the book too easy or too complicated
:: have a mix of text and illustrations
:: have an organised layout
:: give lots of useful information
:: include a contents page and index to make information easy to find
Make your own non-fiction book
Now you can make your own non -fiction book.
Choose a topic to write about: something you are interested in, something you know lots about, or something you want to find out about.
Think about what main topics you want to cover in your book: perhaps a page on each key area. Make notes to help organise your ideas.
Do some research: take a look at other reference books on your topic or interview an expert to get more ideas for your book.
You can use NurtureStore’s non-fiction book printable as a guide to help you format your book.
Each child might like to create their own book or they can collaborate with co-authors.
The non-fiction book printable is very adaptable and you can select the right combination of pages to suit your child and the topic they are writing about.
You don’t have to use all the pages, and you can also print extra ones if you need them.
Some of the pages guide children on how to format their book, others pages leave plenty of room for creativity.
Pages included in the non -fiction printable, for you to choose from, include:
:: a front cover with space for the title and author’s name
:: front page with space for publisher and copyright details
:: a contents page
:: a mix of structured and free-style page layouts, including lines for writing and frames for illustrations
:: a glossary
:: an index
Once you have completed as many pages as you want, you can compile your book into the right order.
This is a good time to complete the contents page and index, as you’ll know which part of the book will be on which page.
You can fasten the pages together using a stapler or with yarn.
You might like to gather all your non-fiction books together in a shelf to create you own reference library.
You can print more of the non-fiction book templates from NurtureStore’s Printable Library any time you want to make another book. It’s a great way to re-cap knowledge at the end of a learning topic.
More writing activities
NurtureStore has many more creative lessons to support your literacy teaching. Try some of these:
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