The Scoop on the Solar System: Incorporating Nonfiction Literature to Build Reading Skills

Nikki Guevara, Elementary teacher, J.H. Gunn Elementary School

(Abstract PDF)

(Unit PDF)        


This is a literature based unit developed around nonfiction topics of the Solar System. The topics involve learning about the Sun, the planets and our moon. Information is presented initially by learning about basic concepts of seasons and weather that later develop into more abstract information about outer space.

There are various differentiated hands-on activities to promote learning about the Solar System in a kinesthetic and interesting way. Reading instruction takes place in a guided reading setting to promote reading skills through exposure and direct instruction with nonfiction text, decoding, word recognition, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension to generate a comprehensive literacy unit. Reading skills for struggling readers will improve as they gain exposure and experience with nonfiction text as well as build their background knowledge and vocabulary for success in their present grade and beyond. My objective is for other teachers to find this unit useful for teaching science topics, “the scoop on the Solar System”, and also promoting reading skills for all students involved. The application of nonfiction text will create interesting and meaningful opportunities to promote reading skills for struggling readers.