Monday, January 20, 2014

Literary Nonfiction Resources and Examples

Literary Nonfiction is sometimes referred to as Creative Nonfiction or Narrative Nonfiction.

Literary Nonfiction is an essential genre that is often overlooked in secondary classrooms.  Teachers readily opt to utilize conventional informational text because it is easier to locate and apply.  However, Literary Nonfiction is probably the easiest way to transition our students to factual information because it embodies numerous characteristics (character, plot, description) of fiction (the endless love of most young readers).

Here are the sub-genres of Literary Nonfiction with examples:

Personal Essays
The purpose of the personal essay is to recreate a single event in the writer's life. In One More to the Lake, E. B. White (famed author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web) recounts his return to an enchanting lake from his childhood.  This visit is distinctly different because he is accompanied by his son.
Click here to read the essay for yourself:

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the greatest speech writers to ever live ("I Have a Dream" anyone?)  Click here to view several MLK speeches that may be unfamiliar to you:

Opinion Pieces
A great site to visit that is overflowing with opinion pieces is Room for Debate, created by the New York Times.  This site offers multiple viewpoints about news events and other timely issues from knowledgeable contributors.
Click here to visit the website:

Essays about Art and Literature:
Art must be deliberately embedded in literary conversations.  The art must complement the literature, and the literature must complement the art.  In order to achieve a "full-circle" moment, conclude the art/literature conversation with an essay about the artwork.
Here is an essay about the famous Mona Lisa

A couple of years ago, I read Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage with my 6th Graders.  The school did not have a class set so I turned the book into a PowerPoint Presentation and utilized the Cloze Procedure.
Click here to learn more about the book:

Reading a memoir might feel like a daunting task for some middle school students.  On the other hand, they might reconsider if they were introduced to a memoir by one of their favorite authors, Lois Lowry (The Giver, Number the Stars, Gathering Blue).
Click here to listen to an excerpt from Lois Lowry's Looking Back

Students should write and read journals in the English/Language Arts classroom.  The Journals of Lewis and Clark exemplify historical journals that are rich and sound.
Click here to peruse the Journals of Lewis and Clark:

Historical, Scientific, Technical, or Economic Accounts
An account is simply a report or description of an event or experience.  The Shriver Report led by THE Marie Shriver has a large bank of reports written by influential people all over the world.
Click here to make a withdrawal: