Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Comparing Literature to Informational Text—with FREE Download!

This is a guest post by blogger Amanda Ross.  If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog,  First Grade Garden , for more of her writing.  

It's me again—Amanda from   First Grade Garden . I am back today to share with you an idea for comparing literature to informational text.

I love to compare fiction and non-fiction texts with my students. It really gets them looking closer at the texts. We dig deeper into the books to look at specific text features and elements. When I discovered the   Story World Real World series, I was so excited! They match up ten common fairy tales with companion non-fiction books. There are three different non-fiction titles to match each fairy tale. I used the books   Three Little Pigs    and   All About Pigs    for this activity with my students.

The first day, we read   Three Little Pigs , one of my favorite fairy tales! After reading, we discuss the story elements—characters, setting, problem, and solution. We also practice retelling it, sometimes by acting it out or by using finger puppets. 

The next day we read the companion non-fiction book   All About Pigs .   Before reading, I have the students look closely at the covers of the two books and tell me what they notice. What is similar or different about the two books? While we read the   All About Pigs    book, we look at all the features as we come across them: table of contents, bold words, labels, index, etc. We discuss the reason for each feature and then discuss whether we noticed it in the   Three Little Pigs    book or not. Sometimes we go back and check, because that is what good readers do! 

Once we have read and discussed both books, we complete a Venn diagram to compare and contrast them. The students come up with some great ideas! Sometimes I have to prompt them with questions such as “What did you notice about the pictures in both books?” or “Who wrote these books?” Usually, after I ask one question, it sparks a lot of other discussions and observations about the books.

You could do this activity with any fairy tale and non-fiction book. In the download below, I have included the headings for the “Three Little Pigs” Venn diagram or just generic “Fiction” and “Non-fiction” headings that can be used with any book! There is also a student recording sheet.

Try this activity out with your favorite fairy tale from   Story World Real World !


Amanda Ross is a first grade teacher in Canada. She has been teaching for seven years. The last three years have been in first grade, and that’s where she plans to stay! She is currently on maternity leave with her daughter Zoe, but she will be heading back to first grade in September. You can find her over at her teaching blog,   First Grade Garden .


To learn more about   Story World Real World , click the series highlights image to the left below to download information sheets with key features To download the freebie, click the image to the right.