We most certainly don't want to remove fiction from classrooms; however, we do need to be certain that students are exposed to and begin reading and writing non-fiction. First step, and a recurring theme for me, MODEL reading aloud many types of texts each week. Fit it in here and there and everywhere! Also, use many "THINK ALOUDS" to teach students the fine art of reading non-fiction and the reasons we read and write it.
One way to help students make connections is to do book "pairings" with fiction and non-fiction books. We can read a fiction story followed by a non-fiction story. Students can make connections and/or compare and contrast using Venn Diagrams, charting, or basically any type of responsive writing you already do in your classroom.
Here are just a few ideas from books I recently purchased and had lying around. There are so many, many combinations, so these are just to get your brain pumping :)
|I know how everyone is loving owls these days...|
|How many penguin books can we pair with these - RIGHT?|
|Take a traditional fairytale and pair it with a non-fiction "bear," "pig," or other book to match your unit of study :)|
Happy Non-Fiction Teaching, ladies and gentlemen!