Non-fiction books is the most effective genre to grab both girls and boys attention to teach comprehension skills. Using this attention getting genre, I can teach compare and contrast. I teach a higher-level first grade class so, while the other first grade classes may compare the characters in a fiction book, I will have my students compare fiction characters to non-fiction characters. For example, a fiction book about unicorns, compared to a non-fiction book about horses.
My students will learn not only to compare non-fiction elements to fiction elements, but they will learn text to text relations. They will also develop background knowledge from reading non-fiction texts. This is very important, especially in certain cultural area where students may never experience things that they will read about in non-fiction texts. Building background knowledge enhances the student\'s comprehension across all genres.
I will let the students choose their non-fiction book about an animal. Based on the book they choose, I will have a corresponding fiction book involving the same animal. I will use a venn-diagram as a graphic organizer that they will use to put their comparisons into writing.
This is a great way to enrich compare and contrast skills.