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Lesson Plan

Multimedia Responses to Content Area Topics Using Fact-"Faction"-Fiction

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Alene Campbell

Cassville, Missouri

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin (HarperCollins, 2005)

  • Chalkboard, chart paper, or overhead transparency and projector

  • Computers with Internet access and PowerPoint

  • LCD projector (optional)

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1. This lesson requires that both you and your students are familiar with using the Internet to conduct research and with using PowerPoint. To give students additional practice using PowerPoint, you may want to teach "Once Upon a Link: A PowerPoint Adventure With Fairy Tales."

2. Familiarize yourself with the Fact–"Faction"–Fiction strategy. This strategy is best used with children's literature that combines fact with fiction. Students sort the details of the story into those things they think are fact, those things they know are fiction, and those things that are fiction sounding like fact ("faction"). In content area learning, this strategy is useful for determining the differences between facts and opinions. Often, the opinions will be listed beneath the "faction" column because they sound like facts. See the Facts–"Faction"–Fiction Strategy Information sheet for more information.

3. Choose a topic for the lesson. This example uses spiders, but the strategies will work with other insects or animals as well as people (for example, a historical figure from your social studies curriculum). You will need a book to share with students that blends facts and fiction and will want to have some online or print resources available for students to complete their research.

4. If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, schedule Sessions 2 through 5 in your school's computer lab. If possible, arrange to use an LCD projector during Session 5.

5. Obtain a big book copy of Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin or enough copies of the book for students to share in small groups. Alternatively, you can use a document projector to project the book on a large screen.

6. Compile Internet links to be used during the lesson by either creating a webpage of links or bookmarking the websites on the computers students will be using. TrackStar is an online resource that enables you to quickly create a webpage of Internet links. If the topic you choose is spiders, you can choose from the following websites:
7. Assign students to reading/research-response groups of three or four. These groups should be heterogeneous and contain students with different strengths. Ideally each group will contain a strong reader, a strong writer, an artistic student, and a computer-literate student. Make one copy of the Facts–"Faction"–Fiction Project Planning Sheet for each group.

8. Make one copy of the Facts–"Faction"–Fiction Recording Sheet, the PowerPoint Tool Tips, the How Do You Know? sheet, and the Scoring Guide: Spider Diaries for each student in your class.

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