Author Barbara Pinto shares five key instructional strategies and tips for incorporating nonfiction into your K-1 curriculum!

What basic instructional strategies give you mileage during nonfiction reading workshop time? How do you start? How do you construct a meaningful reading time? Here are five tips to get you started, and keep you going!


1. Allow Time for Exploration of Books and Materials

• Allow choice according to students/ interest.
• Emphasize information in illustrations.
• Allow multiple days for browsing.
• Compare books on the same topic.

• Expand the definition of reading sources (see the list of sources below, highlighted in blue): Collect magazines, photographs (add writing on them!), food wrappers, advertisements, brochures, toddler books, Web site printouts, and any other related and informative sources.


  • Sources of Information Text in Daily Life:

  • Concept Books: Concepts such as shapes, opposites, signs, and food
    are represented in these basic texts.
    Environmental Print: Words in the world teach names for things and
    places—from the bus stop sign to the milk carton.
    Media and Print in the World: Children are exposed to many forms of
    information, such as movie posters and articles in children's magazines
    and newspapers.
    Web Sites, Blogs, and Online Newsletters: Internet sources are
    increasingly popular sources for information.
    Brochures and Pamphlets: At the zoo and other cultural spots, plaques
    and signs teach about the places they represent.
    Literary nonfiction: Stories may contain nonfiction content. Though they
    have plots and characters, we learn facts from books, such as Snail's Spell
    by Joanna Ryder and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.