NF UNIT P1 Day 1

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Day 1

Piece Or Excerpt of Media A Day:

“Eclipse” Pink Floyd. After reading the lyrics, I told students we were starting a new unit today about nonfiction.

I chose this piece because we are going to try and define “truth” today. I like the lyrics of this song for that goal. Also, throughout this unit, I will be modeling the project goals for the unit with my own research project about space. This song was a no-brainer for me. (more details about the project and my modeling below).

Then as a class we mocked up a definition of non-fiction. They called out several examples and I recorded them in our google doc notes.


Once students understood that we were going to be learning about a new genre, nonfiction, I asked students to define the following two terms in their notebooks:



This obviously opened up a lot of great conversation. Kids love prompts like these that open their minds and challenge them.

Active Engagement:

I gave students this handout which outlines the learning objectives for the unit, and also introduced the project they will complete throughout the unit. 

Next, I told students how I came to choose my topic: space exploration. I chose the topic, simply because I am currently really interested in space exploration. Crazy, right? I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about the Voyager 1 and 2. (one of my many sources for my project) and told students WHY exactly it struck a chord in me. It sparked my intense curiosity and excitement about the endlessness and possibility of our universe. I wanted to know more.

The goal here is that students choose their own topic that they actually WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT.

Next, we watched the first piece of media that I found for my “model project.” We watched James Green’s Ted Talk called “3 moons and a planet that could have alien life.”

I gave students the transcript for the talk and this sheet of questions to answer in order to foster analysis of the media. This gave students an opportunity to practice close-reading of a nonfiction text. They will use the same handout to read their own pieces of media for their own projects.


I asked students to begin considering what topic they might want to explore for this project.

HOMEWORK: Bring in a list of at least 5 topics you want to learn about for next class.