Chapter titles are used so that you know what may be coming up in the chapter, vocabulary words are bolded and defined in the back of the book and used to help you understand what you are reading better.
Why do you think that these words are bolded in the text?
Because they are important words to know.
It is important to teach our students how to read non-fiction texts. It is different than the dialogue they are used to reading and can often be difficult for them to navigate. Therefore we need to teach them the tools they need to have to be able to read non-fiction texts. Such as the use of headings, chapter titles and vocab words.
What do you already know about the Athens?
They had a great government! So why didn't they last?
Pictures are also a very powerful tool in non-fiction text. They may be able to draw a reader in who was once not enthusiastic or reluctant about reading.
Why did the author phrase this paragraph this way? Was it to deepen our understanding of the setting or characters?
It is important to talk to students about the different parts of non-fiction texts. Such as where they may of heard about the topic before or talk to them about what they think that the heading of a chapter is saying will happen or why certain words are bolded in the chapter.
Make sure you are making inferences about the chapters by looking at the titles, then asking yourself questions as to what is happening and what you are learning.
KWL is an important strategy to use when teaching or reading non-fiction. You use prior knowledge to make inferences and generate questions about what you are about to read. Students will generally choose books that interested them and they want to learn more about so it is also important that they review what they learned by reading.
Students then need to be able to ask deeper questions about the text. Such as what they learned or why the author wrote it the way they did. Did their opinion of the topic change?
It's important for students to love both fiction and non-fiction literature, but they will mostly gravitate towards fiction because they don't have the tools they need to understand non-fiction. Teachers need to be able to give students the tools they need to become better readers and also better thinkers by fostering a new way of thinking.