Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction


If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards, you are beginning to unpack these standards and grapple with how they will affect your teaching. The Common Core will bring about shifts in what students read, how they read, how closely they read a text, and what they write after reading a text. TeachersFirst will offer help as these new standards continue to roll out and teachers begin implementing them.

You have probably heard some buzz about incorporating a lot more non-fiction in your classroom. Rest assured that the Common Core does not abandon literature, but it does require that teachers work more deliberately with informational texts. This Q/A article will help you to make sense of this shift and provide you with some practical tips and resources to get started.

The 50/50 Shift: How did we get here?

What exactly is expository or informational text? Isn't it just non-fiction?

My Readers" Workshop already helps students to make significant gains over the year. Aside from the Common Core and its assessment, why is it so important that I teach with informational texts?

Where can I find high-quality informational texts?

There is no budget to buy new books at my school. How can I tell which of the books we already have are the best to use?

What changes will this mean in my Readers' Workshop?

What are some things I can do right now to get started?

Where else can I turn for help?


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