Grade: 1st

Interest building activity

Write the words Fiction and Nonfiction on the board. Ask students if any of them know what these two words mean. Explain that fiction means a story is not true, and nonfiction means it is a true story. Give students some examples of fiction books that you have read as a class. Now, let them know that you’ll be reading them a non-fiction book about the life of a woman who is known as Mother Theresa, and because it’s a non-fiction story, we know it’s a true story about a real person. Then pull up the story of Mother Teresa on the Smartboard and read it to the students.

Lesson Development

Ask students to think of some sentences that would show a story is fiction, and ones that would show that a story is nonfiction. Tell them that nonfiction books are filled with facts, meaning things that are known to be true. The story of Mother Teresa is filled with facts about her life. These things were researched and found to be things that happened to her. Write several sentences on the board, and have students take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Write a combination of sentences that could be found in a fiction or a nonfiction book. For example:

Goldilocks sat in Baby Bear’s chair.

Oak trees can grow very tall.

George Washington was the first president of the United States.

Cinderella saw the pumpkin turn into a carriage.

Have students write on their piece of paper whether they think each sentence is part of a fiction story or part of a non-fiction story.

Next, tell the students that you will all be playing a game. Everyone should have a piece of paper and a pencil. They should each write two sentences about themselves, one which is true, in other words, nonfiction, and which is not true, in other words, fiction. After everyone is finished, have the students come together in groups of about 5 and each student will read their two sentences aloud to the group. Every other student in the group must guess either “fiction” or “nonfiction”.


Have students go through their books at home and write down the names of two books that are fiction and two books that are nonfiction. Have them write a sentence about what makes each one either fiction or nonfiction.