Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Using Nonfiction and Fiction Texts for Fluency in First Grade

Editor's Note: This blog was previously published, we're re-sharing it today as teachers begin to plan their fall semester.  


By Cindy Price, First-Grade Teacher, Guest Blogger

In today’s classroom, there is a lot of focus on fluency. Children are supposed to be able to read to us as if they were talking to us. So we begin in the primary grades to focus on fluency using easy, low-level texts.

In my classroom, I want my students to read fluently with every text they encounter, not just fiction books but also nonfiction books. This is why I love the Zoozoo Into the Wild series by Hameray Publishing! This series has nonfiction and fiction titles, allowing us to bring in various texts to pique students' interests and use during guided reading groups.  The books we read were   Zebra ,   Oh, Zebra! ,   Frog , and   Frogs Play .  

As usual, we began by reviewing the vocabulary. Each book had some excellent words to review with students! I like to have my kids come up with synonyms for the vocabulary words.

We made inferences about the fiction stories. They looked at the cover and told me what they thought would happen. With the nonfiction stories, they shared all that they thought they knew about the animal. 

The text in both the fiction and the nonfiction books was perfect for my small group and low-level readers. But all of my kids gravitate towards these books! They love the pictures and the easy to read text helps them build confidence in their reading abilities.

As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book. I love these pages! 

I appreciate that we can compare and contrast the fiction and nonfiction titles. That is a common core standard for first grade, comparing and contrasting two texts on the same topic. But we could also compare the texts against each other, frogs and zebras. Students were able to discuss the differences in environments and storylines as well as diet and life cycles.

After we discussed the books, we completed some activities. Take a look below for a sampling of some of the pages we did.  You can click on the image to download a copy to do with your students! 



This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at  Mrs. Price's Kindergators , and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!