Blending Fiction and Nonfiction to Improve Comprehension and Writing Skills

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This lesson plan (from the ReadWriteThink website) uses a text set that pairs fiction and nonfiction texts covering a similar topic. The combination leads to increased interest and understanding because the student is able to find some familiarity with the format of fiction, and but also explore more detail with the nonfiction texts. The lesson also provides a look at using a stapleless book, a comic creator, and a letter generator, all of which are interactive computer tools that increase students interest level by adding a technology component.

To try the technology components with a different lesson, I’ve linked them below:
Stapleless Books (link)– this tool provides an opportunity for students to select a format for each page of the book, type in the text they want to include, and print the final copy. Pictures can be added by drawing after they are printed. There are even directions to show how to fold and cut the paper after it is printed to create the final book.
Comic Creator (link): This tool allows students to create 1, 2, 3, or 6 paneled comic strips. The characters, settings, and props that are available to add are limited, but this could still be a fun tool to try.
Letter Generator (link): This tool may be my personal favorite. It starts with a personalized letter to the student explaining reasons that you might want to write a letter and introducing how the tool will work. There is also an audio button available if the students need the letter read to them. The tool then highlights the parts of a letter and the purpose of each before advancing to the next screen where students have to pick either a friendly letter or business letter format. As students move through the tool, very specific directions lead them through the steps of setting up the letter while highlighting that part in a drawing of the letter at the side. After the entire letter has been written, the student can choose a border decoration (or none) to be added, preview the letter, and then print it. An option to print envelope instructions is also available. This tool could have MANY practical uses within the classroom!


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