Comparing Nonfiction Texts

Comparing nonfiction texts in the classroom

I was really struggling with how to compare nonfiction texts in my classroom. My kids weren’t enjoying it very much because I hadn’t found engaging enough activities. But last week, I decided to tie in a Post-it activity, and they loved it! I’ll share what I did below.

Story Set #1

My Uncle is a Firefighter- Reading A-Z

A Trip to the Firehouse- Houghton Mifflin

A Trip to the Firehouse and My Uncle is a Firefighter books

For the first nonfiction text set, I used ‘A Trip to the Firehouse’ from the Houghton Mifflin textbook and ‘My Uncle is a Firefighter’ from Reading A-Z. It is a level P book, so we read it as a whole group.

Comparing nonfiction in actioin

First, students read ‘A Trip to the Firehouse’ and wrote a fact on a yellow Post-it note. Then, students read ‘My Uncle is a Firefighter’ and wrote a fact from that text on the Post-it note.

Fact matching in class

Finally, students stuck their Post-it notes to the butcher paper. I split it into three parts. Their job was to put their green Post-it notes under text one, and their yellow Post-it notes under text two’s title. Then, as a whole group, we read each of the facts and tried to find any facts that we could have learned in both texts. Then, we moved those down to the ‘both’ category. This is a simple and easy way to introduce students to compare and contrast two nonfiction texts slowly.

Story Set #2

Ants, Ants, and More Ants- Reading A-Z

Ants- Houghton Mifflin

Ant book images

Later on in the week, we did the same activity, but with new texts. Now, text one was Ant from Houghton Mifflin textbook, and text two was Ants, Ants, and More Ants from Reading A-Z.

Fact checking in the classroom

Same situation! Students write a fact from text one on the green Post-it note and a fact from text two on the yellow Post-it note. This time, however, I drew a Venn diagram. Students were in charge of putting their Post-it notes in the correct spot. If it was only found in text one, it went on the left. If it was only found in text two, it went on the right. However, if they know their fact was found in both texts, they put it in the middle.

Student working on Venn Diagram

And since this was our final text comparison for the week, I had them create a Venn diagram with a few facts of their own afterward.

Comparing Nonfiction Texts Resources

These Common Core aligned text will help you in teaching informational comparisons

Kindergarten — 1st Grade — 2nd Grade — 3rd Grade — 4th Grade

And if you’re in need of extra nonfiction resources, check out my nonfiction reading passages and printables!

Nonfiction comprehension

Nonfiction Reading Comprehension

For more content on comparing nonfiction texts with your primary students, check out this post!

Comparing nonfiction

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