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Information vs. Fiction

Help your third grader understand that information books are different from fiction books

Information books have features that your child may not have seen before.
  • Table of contents: Explain that the table of contents is at the beginning of the book and shows which topics are included and in what order they appear.
  • Print: Point out different kinds of print and how it helps convey meaning. Print can vary in size, font, style (italic, bold, underline) and color and is a useful tool to help the reader by signaling, "Look! This is important!"
  • Photographs and diagrams: Point out how graphics help clarify the meaning of informational text. They help readers understand what something looks like or how it works.
  • Captions and labels: Discuss how these help the reader better understand photographs and drawings.
  • Charts and graphs: Show that some information can be presented and understood more easily if it is organized or summarized in a chart or graph.
  • Glossary: Demonstrate how to find the meaning of words in the text by using the glossary.
  • Index: Locate the index and explain it is usually found at the back of an information book. Point out the alphabetical listings and explain they give the page numbers where different topics in the book can be found.
  • Bibliography: Look at the bibliography and explain it is a list of books, magazines, newspapers and other resources that were used by the author to write the book. Explain that information from other sources must be acknowledged.
  • Additional Sources/Further Readings: Point out this list of other books, websites and sources recommended by the author gives the reader more information about the subject.