Get Your Facts Straight With These 18 Nonfiction Anchor Charts

These anchor charts will help you answer all your students’ questions about nonfiction.

Nonfiction anchor charts

When it comes to teaching nonfiction reading and writing, anchor charts are a valuable tool to solidify the what, when, why and how in learners’ minds. Not the artistic type? No worries—we’ve collected some of our favorite nonfiction anchor charts for you to recreate in your classroom.  

What exactly is nonfiction?

Nonfiction is informational text that uses facts to teach learners about something. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: The Designer Teacher

What are some examples of nonfiction?

Nonfiction texts can be found in a variety of forms. Brainstorm with your students about where they may find this type of writing. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Julie Ballew

Drive your point home with pictures and samples of nonfiction sources. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Hello Learning

What’s the difference between fiction and nonfiction?

Good question. Many young learners get hung up on the “non” portion of the word nonfiction, reasoning that nonfiction must mean not real. So spend lots of time sorting through examples of different types of writing to help your students memorize the difference. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Mrs. Denson’s Adventures

This anchor chart explains the difference in pictograph form:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: A Teacher and Technology

A Venn diagram is another great way to show the similarities and differences between nonfiction and fiction:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Elementary Shenanigans

How do we read nonfiction?

As opposed to reading stories for pleasure, the main purpose for reading nonfiction is to learn facts about something. Understanding this helps readers set a purpose for reading in a more focused, attentive way. 

Here’s a simple version:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Creating Readers and Writers

And one that’s a little more detailed:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: One Stop Teacher Stop

What are nonfiction text features? 

Nonfiction texts are organized differently than fiction. Usually the writing is more clear, concise and to the point. The most distinctive characteristic of nonfiction is the use of graphic features that supplement the learning.

Use anchor charts to show examples of some of different text features readers may encounter. For example, photographs, charts, graphs, captions, etc. 

This chart addresses why text features are an important part of nonfiction texts: 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Second Grade Style

And this one, for upper elementary students, goes into greater detail about each feature. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Learning Adventures with Mrs. Gerlach

Additionally, this chart uses real life examples to point out different text features:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Amy Groesbeck

What are some of the ways nonfiction writing is organized?

Nonfiction writing can follow a number of predictable formats, called text structures. Understanding the way a piece of nonfiction is organized ahead of time will help students better understanding what they’re reading.  

Here is an example from an upper elementary teacher:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Book Units Teacher

And here is one from a primary teacher:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Mrs. Braun’s Second Grade Class

What are some ways to respond to nonfiction?

Once students have read a nonfiction passage, it is important for them to show what they have learned. This anchor chart lays out four different ways for students to take notes and organize their thinking around a nonfiction text. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: JBallew

What is the difference between fact and opinion?

Nonfiction writing is based on facts. But sometimes opinions can masquerade as truths. Teaching students to recognize the difference between facts and opinions will help them distinguish between fiction and nonfiction writing. 

This anchor chart shows students vocabulary words that will help them distinguish between fact and opinion: 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: The Designer Teacher

How do we summarize nonfiction?

Pulling out the most important information from expository texts is a critical literacy skill for students. This anchor chart encourages students to use the five finger questioning strategy:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Upper Elementary Snapshots

Is nonfiction the same thing as expository text?

Yes. This anchor chart shows that expository text is another name for informational text written for the purpose of informing or explaining something to a reader:

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: Miss Klohn’s Classroom

What is narrative nonfiction?

Narrative nonfiction is a different structure of nonfiction. Basically, it tells a story, includes facts and examples about a topic, and can include text features. 

nonfiction anchor charts

SOURCE: McElhinney’s Center Stage

What are your favorite nonfiction anchor charts? Share your ideas in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Also, check out 36 Awesome Anchor Charts for Teaching Writing. 

Get Your Facts Straight With These 18 Nonfiction Anchor Charts

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a passionate teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, traveling the globe and everything Zen.

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