Is Nonfiction as Important as Fiction?

July 2nd, 2013

While reading fiction has tremendous benefits for students, Walt Gardner suggests that nonfiction reading ought to serve a vital role in English classrooms as well. The Common Core State Standards place a large emphasis on nonfiction, much to the chagrin of some English teachers, but Gardner argues that this emphasis serves to both inspire students and prepare them for adulthood.

We may typically think of fiction reading as the primary tool to encourage students to fall in love with reading but this perspective is too limiting, Gardner says:

Students can develop a lifelong passion for reading through non-fiction as well. In fact, I submit that if one of the goals of an English class is to help students learn to write clearly and effectively, non-fiction is far more useful. Browse through any newspaper or magazine. With the exception of The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s, for example, fiction is virtually non-existent. Reportage, op-eds, editorials, and letters to the editor are the coin of the realm.

Check out our latest ebook, “The Meaning of Independence Day” for reading selections, fiction and nonfiction, centered on America’s quest for independence.

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