The English Teacher

Teaching the Analysis of Non-Fiction

I have used this form to teach 9th graders how to analyze non-fiction. I am not satisfied with it. It is better than the lecture type notes that I was previously using. First, I go over the form, covering the definitions needed. Then, I have the class read one non-fiction selection, usually 'Pomepeii' by Robert Silverberg, and then I teach the class how to fill out the form, clarifying definitions as we go through the form.

Next, the class reads another non-fiction article. They are divided into groups and use the first completed form as notes to fill out the second one for a group grade.

Then they read four or five more selections and have a test [as individuals] and fill out the form in class, using any and all notes that they have taken including the previous forms. [This policy teaches the value of notes and paying attention in class.] Sometimes they may even use the book. I usually give them a choice of two of the four or five selections that they were assigned to read. By this time they know the terms and concepts as well as they are reasonably going to do in the time available.

(NONFICTN.Eng) 11/9/93

1.What type of non-fiction article is this?
Biography ___ Autobiography ___ Essay ___ Journal ___
True Adventure ___ Other ___ If other, what ? _________________
Explain your choice _____________________________________
________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

2.A. Is the article mainly: description ___ narration ___
exposition (explaining) ___

B. Quote two or three sentences of the main type of writing. (Include the page number.) _________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

3. Are there any anecdotes? Yes ___ No ___ If yes, quote one or
summarize one. (Include page number.) ______________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________

[note- this question only seems to have unnecessary redundancy]
4. Are there any flashbacks in time. Yes ___ No ___ If yes, what
are the time periods involved?

A. Main time period and the event. _________________________ _______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

B. Flashback time period and the event.(Include page number.) _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

5. A. What message does the article have? How does the article
convey this? ___________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

B. Does the author have a different purpose than the message?
Yes ___ No ___ Explain __________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________

6. What did you learn about the main characters in the article. __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

7. Does any part of this "non-fiction" article seem to be fictional
or made up? Yes ___ No ___ If yes, which part? (Include page) ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

8. A. Does the article show tension (conflict) in the characters?
Yes ___ No ___ Explain _____________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________

B. Does the article cause tension (conflict) in the reader?
Yes ___ No ___ Explain ____________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________


9. What is the tone or mood of the article? Humorous ___ Sad ___
Serious ___ Tragic ___ Satiric ___ Other ______

Explain your choice __________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

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