Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fact or Fantasy Writing

Renee Benefield


This simple lesson introduces fiction and non-fiction writing. Students see that some written text is for pleasure and enjoyment while some is for relaying information. They get to experience both types during the lesson.


The student knows various broad literary forms (for example, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, picture and predictable books).


-Pictures that are from the newspaper (current events) and fantasy or fairy tale pictures
-Chart paper
-Paper for student use
-Markers, crayons, sissors, glue for student use
-Science textbooks
-Fiction books
-Computer and printer to type out the students' group writings (optional)


1. Put up chart paper.
2. Gather pictures of current events and fantasy pictures or drawings and fictional books.
3. Have computer on and paper ready in the printer.


Note: This lesson only teaches fiction and nonfiction.

1. Introduce the lesson by telling the students they will be looking at different pictures and writings and deciding what the items are trying to tell us or show us.

2. Show 2 picture examples, one is the current events picture and the other is the fairy tale or fantasy picture. Then ask the students what makes these 2 pictures different, trying to elict from the students that one of the pictures shows something that could really happen and the other shows something that is imaginary or not real.

3. Begin to explain that just like pictures are drawn or made to show us something, when people write, they are writing for a purpose. The purpose may be to inform us or teach us about something that happened and sometimes it is to entertain us, like a silly story or a fairy tale. Ask students to give examples of stories that are written to entertain us. These can be written down on the chart paper. Ask questions about how the students decided that this was a story written for us to enjoy. Ask for examples of fictional stories such as fairy tales, and introduce the term "fiction" at this time. Fiction means not true.

4. Ask students to think about things that really happened or give us information and ask the students where could we find stories of information or things that have really happened. Students will hopefully state the newspaper, magazines, or textbooks like a science book.

5. Explain that this type of writing is called non-fiction. Non-fiction writing gives us information. Show examples of articles in newspapers, magazines, textbooks and encyclopedias. Explain that to be non-fiction, an article should be truthful and be about something that is real or really happened. Most non-fiction writings are written to help us learn about something we might be interested in.

6. Allow students to share something they may have learned from an article or talk about a current event that may have been something of interest like the weather or sports.

7. Review the characterics of both kinds of writing. You may want to review the terms, fiction and non-fiction. Then show more pictures or read examples of fiction and non-fiction to the students and let them decide if the author was writing to entertain the reader or if they were writing to teach or tell the students some information.

8. Instruct students that they are going to write some simple things now that will be both fiction for fun and non-fiction for information.

9. Suggest that the class write an article that would tell a new student about their school and take dictation on the chart paper. Review that this should be truthful and helpful information.

10. At the completion of this article then tell the students that they will write a small story together that is just for fun. Take one of the fantasy or fairy tale pictures and have them start to tell a story while taking the dictation.

11. Reread both of the newly created writings and can go to the computer and print out copies for the students to have. The students really enjoy seeing their writings published in this fashion. They can sit in a group and watch as the teacher types on the computer. Copy and paste the writings to get several copies per page. Cut apart the sentences for the students.

12. Give instructions for the independent practice. Students are to glue one writing on one side of their papers under the word fiction (write it on the board) and the other writing under the word non-fiction (write it on the board.) Students are then to illustrate both articles to support the writing. Give each student the new writings and have the students practice reading.

13. Pass out paper and then monitor students while they work independently.

14. Collect the papers.


Note: This lesson only assesses fiction and nonfiction.

After the introduction and practice of identifying various forms of writings, (fiction or non-fiction) the students are formatively assessed based on their ability to verbally state whether a writing is fiction or non-fiction. They should be able to tell why they classified the writing as fiction or non-fiction


Students could bring in articles from home from the newspaper that might interest them. They could bring in their favorite fiction story to share with the class. A fun family project would be to have the students write an article about themselves or their family. Any time a new story or article is introduced the class can decide if it is going to be fiction or non-fiction.
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