Fiction and non-fiction

Learning focus

To understand the difference between fiction and non-fiction writing.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos

  • four activities


Watch this short clip to learn about the difference between fiction and non-fiction in writing.

See the difference between fiction and non-fiction writing.

Fiction is made up. You need to use your imagination when you are writing it.

Types of fiction include plays, stories and poems.

Non-fiction is all about facts. You can't just make it up.

There are many different types of non-fiction writing, such as newspapers, adverts, brochures, reference books and biographies.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Complete these two short activities.

First, put the book titles in the correct place on the shelf to show whether they are fiction or non-fiction.

Then read each sentence and decide whether the text is fiction or non-fiction.

Top tip!

Remember, the correct spelling of ‘non-fiction’ contains a hyphen.

Activity 2

Watch this video about Britain in winter.

You are going to be writing about what happens in it, so watch carefully.

Learn all about winter in Britain.

Write four sentences about things you saw in the video as if they were in a non-fiction text.

Remember, non-fiction texts use facts so only use what you are told in the video. Don’t make anything up!

Top tip!

You could write about:

  • what animals do in winter

  • what people do in winter

  • the weather in winter

  • anything else you noticed

For example:

Winter in Britain is a very cold time. It is often icy and can even snow. When it snows, people like to make snowmen from the freshly fallen snow and go sledging down hills.

Activity 3

Now write four sentences about things you saw in the video as if they were in a fiction text.

Remember, fiction is made up like a story. Use the video to inspire you and let your imagination run wild!

You could:

  • Write a setting description.
  • Choose a person or animal and write a character description.
  • Write a short story or poem about anything else that you thought was interesting.

For example:

The snow-covered mountains shone like diamonds in the early morning sunshine. Slowly, the herd of deer woke up, quickly shaking off their snowy blankets. Icicles hung from the towering trees and rivers were frozen solid. Winter had arrived.

Top tip!

Fiction writing often includes:

  • adjectives and adverbs
  • lots of description
  • similes and metaphors

Activity 4

If you can, share your two paragraphs with someone.

Can they work out which paragraph is the fiction and which is the non-fiction?

Ask them to explain how they know.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about the difference between fiction and
non-fiction writing.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you with your reading and writing skills.

There's more to learn

More lessons to help with learning at home
KS2 English
More from KS2 English
Primary games