While fictional stories provide for hours of entertainment, develops imagination, inspires creativity and stirs a desire to continue reading, there is something to be said for encouraging children to read nonfictional text. While I do not discount the benefits of reading fiction, as any reading that a child participates in is more beneficial than no reading at all, there have been studies as of late that have revealed better performance in school among children who read a greater quantity of nonfiction than fiction.
Your children are most likely already being encouraged to read nonfiction-based literature behind the classroom doors as Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Literacy has placed more of an emphasis on reading comprehension and the overall complexity of the written text across all grade levels. Teachers are required to integrate biographies and autobiographies, scholarly journals, essays, and literary nonfiction into their curriculum, as well as a focus on research skills.
Studies have shown that students who read self-selected nonfiction more frequently than fiction are more likely to score higher on standardized tests, earn higher grades in college, have an increased vocabulary and fluency, and greater comprehension and thinking skills.
To further support the push for nonfiction, research on the topic has also revealed that students who have a history of reading this type of literature have a stronger foundation of background knowledge that can be connected to topics learned in school. The more connections that are made between text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world, the more meaningful the lesson will be to your child. The more meaningful the lesson, the more your child will evaluate the information given and then create based on their own understanding…and that is the ultimate goal of every concept taught in school!
Blog written by Lauren Bronson from Tampa Learning Co.