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Introduce: Realistic Fiction

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Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 20 minutes
Goal: Given a book, students will understand the purpose of realistic fiction and recognize its elements.

Materials: Board or chart paper. Suggested reading: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

What to Do


Write headings on the board or chart paper to record students’ answers. (Characters, Details, Dialogue, Problem and Solution)


1. Explain the lesson.

Today we will be talking about realistic fiction. Realistic fiction includes made-up stories that could have happened in real life. These stories are set in modern times in the real world. The characters do not have any special powers. They act and talk just like we do. The characters have everyday problems and find realistic solutions for them. Authors of realistic fiction try to relate to a reader by writing about what they already know. They also use dialog. Dialog is what the characters say in a story and is shown by using quotation marks.

2. Read aloud a book of realistic fiction.

I am going to read (title of book)_________________ by _________________. This story is an example of realistic fiction. As I read, pay close attention to how the main characters are described. Also, listen for what the characters say that may help you understand them better.


3. Ask the students to describe the characters in the story. Ask them to give details from the story to support their answers. Point out any dialogs between characters that could help the students with this task. Write the characters and their descriptions on the board or chart paper. Ask the students to identify the problem that the main character faced in the story and how it was solved.

5. Encourage students to create a portrait of a character similar to them and write descriptive phrases about the character in a journal or notebook.


For Advanced Students:

Encourage these students to give you sophisticated details about the characters.

For Struggling Students:

As you read the story, stop frequently to ask questions that will increase their understanding of the characters.

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts that they may need in order to understand the book.

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