Non-Fiction Texts with Claims

On Instagram, I asked teachers for their recommendations of non-fictions texts that make a claim. Below, you fill find a list of those recommendations in their own woods. I copied their messages directly into a document and posted them below :) I have not read these, but they have been teacher-recommended.

Michael Pollan’s books do (food related). Documentaries are great resources, too.

Use articles instead of books! Magazines or scholarly articles work awesome for this. I meet this standard sometimes  by using some newela articles

Just Mercy

I’ve heard good things about The New Jim Crow too but haven’t read it yet.

Discovering Wes Moore is a great book. There are two versions... discovering wes Moore is the middle school appropriate version. The other Wes Moore is the more mature version


Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Hello! Preview a bit of Food Matters by Mark Bittman the next time you’re at a bookstore, could be an interesting choice for cross curricular connections (health, science) 😊

I teach APLANG and this is literally all we do! But, I don’t use large pieces of text- the anthology 50 essays is so good. There’s a teacher’s edition as well. It’s broken down by multiple table of contents- stylistic, topic, etc. I also teach for the same purpose a satirical unit and use Advice to Youth and then have my students develop their own claim giving advice to today’s youth through a satirical voice. It’s an awesome lesson and the kids did such a good job.

CommonLit has great articles

The New Jim Crow, but it’s pretty long.

There’s a book called Should there be zoo?  I think it’s by Mondo. 
Sorry. It’s a great book and has been written in a series of essays by a class. It provoked a lot of great conversation in my room and we read it after Tiger Rising and they also read The One & Only Ivan in third so they had some strong fiction context for why not.

i THINK i did this in high school with the frederick douglass book?? totally don’t remember very well but MAYBE. anything else non fiction we did articles & speeches

Omnivore’s Dilemma

I use a lot of articles for this. Sometimes where the author is specifically stating a claim, and sometimes where the author is implying his/her opinion and we call it an “implied claim.” For example, we read an article on Title IX and an article on women’s suffrage and then we looked at both of them and wrote about how the authors are making the same claim, but they do it in different ways. One used facts and statistics to show inequality, while the other one used examples that really related to the reader and made the reader see the inequality on more of a personal level because it makes you think about your own life.

Enrique’s Journey is such a good read! It describes the process a boy from Honduras went through while trying to cross the American border to be with his mom!

The New Jim Crow! Entire text available with lesson plans on 

I recommend either jigsawing it or summarizing some, though, because it’s dense. You could also pair it with (or instead show) Netflix’s 13th

I like to use When Lunch Fights back and I use it to prove that while nonfiction books have many different sections, it still has one central claim

The Other Wes Moore is great if you’re looking at privilege or the American Dream! I’ve taught No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, which Beavan’s explanation of what it was like to live a “no impact lifestyle” for a year if you’re interested in taking the environmental route :)

The notorious Benedict Arnold. It has a lot of good evidence to show how Benedict was a hero and a traitor. My students do an essay where they choose their claim and back it up with evidence from the text. They do such a great job.

I totally agree to use Articles. It gives them a direct view and often times easier to identify the claims. Kelly gallenger (totally destroying his name) has an awesome website of info text.

Frederick Douglass’s autobiography

I teach a high school class on true crime and we read Just Mercy for memoire and Dear Martin for fiction! Love the suggestions you’re getting

I’m using a memoir called the distance between us. It’s about the authors undocumented immigration process and totally a giant metaphor actual distance between us and those we care about both physically and emotionally. You see a lot of different claims (from who gets to cross, why they were left in Mexico for 8 years, and the process of crossing the border undocumented with a coyote. There the original that came out in 2014 and was part of Maryland’s One Book program and they have a lesson for high school aged students and there is also a young readers edition geared towards grades 4-7. It’s also written from a child’s perspective

Nickel and Dimed by Ehrenreich; So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Into The Wild. Bill makes many claims about nature and the national park services

The Other Wes Moore is good bc his claim is ambiguous. BUT if you DONT want subtlety Born to Run, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass have all rocked my students’ worlds. They loved them.

Michael Pollan has a YA edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma!

Amusing Ourselves to Death - Neil Postman

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver. It’s really great for analytical kids who love digging into data.

Unpunished murder is a new nonfiction book coming out on the 28th. It’s advertised as middle grade, but I personally feel it’s a much higher level read. I published a review on my account, but it basically tells the story of a not so well-known massacre committed against black freedman during the post civil war era, and the white men who committed the crime were all sent free without being punished. No charges. The author argues that this was possible because the constitution.

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