You can enjoy teaching realistic fiction in just three steps. (1) Start with the elements. (2) Read short stories. This gets kids hooked! (3) Choose a novel for the grand finale.
Ms. Sneed Teaches Realistic Fiction
Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, explained her realistic fiction unit in the teachers’ lounge. “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” she said.
“Tell me more,” her colleague, Mrs. Abdullah, prompted.
Step 1: Teaching Realistic Fiction Elements
“Okay. First, we’ll explore the elements. Kids need to know what realistic fiction is. Once they’ve told me what they know, we’ll continually refer to this handy reference guide.” She pushed a paper across the table to her friend.
“I’ll also use Literary Genre: Realistic Fiction, a 3-minute video by Pang Her. It emphasizes five traits of realistic fiction:
- Realistic fiction is still make-believe.
- It could happen in real life.
- The characters are realistic or could be alive today.
- Characters have no superpowers.
- You feel like the story could happen to you.”
Step 2: Analyzing Short Realistic Fiction
“Next, the kiddos will read and analyze some short stories. This is my favorite step. Sharing and discussing let me enjoy teaching realistic fiction.
“I’ll grab 30 or 40 realistic fiction picture books from our school library. They’ll be displayed on a table. This invites kids to read realistic fiction. We’ll read some together and discuss. And I can get some grades with these realistic fiction worksheets.”
“This all sounds awesome,” said Mrs. Abdullah. “If you’d like a printable story, try Jodie’s Daddy Is a Garbageman by Matthew Licht. I love this little story!”
“Thanks, I will!”
Step 3: Teaching Realistic Fiction Through Novels
Ms. Sneed pulled two books out of her bag. “For the grand finale, kids will read a novel. My advanced fourth graders do fine with Hatchet. But last year, my low to average kids struggled with it. Fortunately, I found another realistic adventure, The Black Stallion. “
“I can see that you’re really excited about this unit,” said Mrs. Abdullah. “It’s thorough – and the kids will love it.”
Ms. Sneed’s eyes twinkled. Yes, they’d love it – and she would too.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.