Gr 3 Nonfiction Reading unit of study

Draft, Dec. 2009
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How do readers select nonfiction texts?
How do readers understand (make sense of) nonfiction texts?
How does talking with others help readers?


Students will begin to understand and appreciate that . . .

  • Readers have special strategies for choosing nonfiction books
  • Readers have strategies that help them understand and hold on to information.
  • Readers monitor for meaning.
  • Readers use nonfiction features to help them understand nonfiction.
  • Readers talk about their reading in order to grow and clarify their ideas.
  • Readers talk about their reading in order to teach others.


Students will show independent ability to . . .

  • choose just-right nonfiction books
  • choose nonfiction books that will inform them
  • use nonfiction features (title, cover, table of contents) to choose what to read
  • Make and confirm simple predictions about what will be found in a text
  • identify main ideas and supporting details
  • use text features such as pictures, diagrams, graphs, labels, captions, charts, and info boxes to learn and understand information
  • stop when meaning breaks down and use fix-up strategies (rereading, talking with a partner, using headings and visuals)
  • use glossary, text, and visuals to help read and understand tricky words and unfamiliar vocabulary
  • Track or record information using student generated graphic organizers in reading notebook (i.e. boxes and bullets, T-chart)
  • use written notes to share information
  • question to clarify and extend their learning
  • help their partners say more


Students will know . . .

  • Text features: Table of Contents
  • Text features: picture, diagram, graph, label, caption, chart, heading, bold print, cross-section, info box, and glossary
  • Graphic organizers: boxes and bullets, T-chart
  • Partner prompts to grow ideas:
o What did you learn?
o Did anything you learn surprise you?
o “Can you tell me more about that?”
o “What does that make you think?”