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Lesson Plan

Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey

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Adventures in Nonfiction: A Guided Inquiry Journey

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Renee Goularte

Renee Goularte

Magalia, California


National Council of Teachers of English



From Theory to Practice



These activities provide a foundation for using nonfiction resources for developing and answering questions about gathered information. Using a wide variety of nonfiction literature, students learn to sort and categorize books to begin the information-gathering process. Then, working with partners and groups, using pictures and text, students are guided through the process of gathering information, asking clarifying questions, and then enhancing the information with additional details. Students complete the lesson by collaboratively making “Question and Answer” books for the classroom library. This is a high-interest foundation builder for using nonfiction literature in research as well as for pleasure reading.

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In Literacy at the Crossroads Regie Routman reminds us of the importance of "a greater use of multiple texts in reading instruction," to include not only narrative texts, but informational texts as well. Having students find the answers to questions is one way to engage them in making connections between reading and writing, according to Patricia Cunningham and Richard Allington in Classrooms That Work.

The use of self-selected nonfiction texts for pleasure reading, followed by informal sharing and discussion of information, can give a high-interest twist to the gathering of information and can be a jumping-off point for further inquiry and exploration.

Further Reading

Routman, Regie. 1996. Literacy at the Crossroads: Crucial Talk about Reading, Writing, and Other Teaching Dilemmas. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Cunningham, Patricia, and Richard Allington. 1994. Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write. Pearson.


Parker, Diane. 2007.  Planning for Inquiry: It's Not an Oxymoron! Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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